'We love our son': Parents of McDonald's worker turned 'serial killer' who allegedly shot dead four people say they are devastated at his arrest

  • Howell 'Trai' Donaldson III is accused of murdering four people in Tampa, Florida
  • His parents Rosita and Emanuel held a press conference about his arrest
  • Emanuel said: 'We’re here to support our son through this'
  • Rosita said: 'When they arrested my son I felt devastation because I love my son'

The parents of the alleged serial killer who shot dead four people in Tampa, Florida have spoken out to say that they do not understand why their son has been accused.

Rosita Donaldson and Emanuel Donaldson were flanked by their attorney during a press conference about their son, 24-year-old Howell 'Trai' Donaldson III.

At the conference attended by the Tampa Bay Times, Emanuel said: 'We’re here to support our son through this.'

Rosita told the assembled reporters: 'I felt devastation for the families when it first started, and I prayed for those families when it first started and then, when they arrested my son I felt devastation because I love my son.'

Rosita Donaldson said: 'I felt devastation for the families when it first started, and I prayed for those families when it first started and then, when they arrested my son I felt devastation because I love my son'
Emanuel Donaldson said: 'We?re here to support our son through this'

The parents of Howell 'Trai' Donaldson III held a press conference about their son's arrest. He has been accused of killing four people in Tampa, Florida. Rosita Donaldson said:?'I felt devastation for the families when it first started, and I prayed for those families when it first started and then, when they arrested my son I felt devastation because I love my son'

Emanuel Donaldson said:?'We?re here to support our son through this.' The couple was flanked by attorneys

Emanuel Donaldson said:?'We’re here to support our son through this.' The couple was flanked by attorneys

Their son, 24-year-old 'Trai,' was arrested on Tuesday. They say they hope to speak with him soon

Their son, 24-year-old 'Trai,' was arrested on Tuesday. They say they hope to speak with him soon

The parents described their son as a hardworking young man with many friends, ABC News reports.

Their third child, he attended college at St John's University in New York City and, they say, planned to start a career in sports management.

Their attorney, Ralph Fernandez, was quick to establish that the couple would not answer questions pertaining to their son's alleged crimes.

For now, they say, they hope to be able to speak to their son and will pray.?

Their son has been in jail since Tuesday.

Donaldson was arrested after police received a tip from?a McDonald's staff member Tuesday afternoon about a man with a gun and brought him in for questioning.?

Donaldson has been charged with four counts of first degree murder.?

He is accused of fatally shooting Benjamin Mitchell, Monica Hoffa, Anthony Naiboa and Ronald Felton.

The killings started 51 days ago in the Tampa's Seminole Height's neighborhood.

Speaking after the arrest, Mayor Bob Buckhorn said: 'Fifty one days ago I said this was a struggle between good and evil.

'Well, tonight goodness has won.'

Earlier this week police connected the killings based on their methodology - meaning they were all killed in the same way, which is common for serial killers.

Each of the four victims was killed but not robbed while they walked along at night within a half-mile area of the Seminole Heights neighborhood.

The victims, though, didn't have any common similarities based on race, age or occupation.

The first attack happened on October 9 when Benjamin Mitchell, 22, was shot dead after getting off a bus in the neighborhood at night.

Two days after Mitchell was shot, Monica Hoffa, 32, was gunned down.?

And on October 19, Anthony Naiboa, 20, was shot after taking the wrong bus home from his new job.?

Ronald Felton was the last of the four victims to be killed, and was shot on November 14.?

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