Friend of accused serial killer shocked by arrest

A man who knows Howell Donaldson says he was "blown away" by allegations he's a killer.

TAMPA, Fla. -- Word is spreading among Howell Emerson Donaldson III's friends. They're surprised he's sitting in jail accused of being a serial killer.

One friend, who did not want his name or face out in public, spoke with 10 news reporter Garin Flowers to talk about the Donaldson he knew.

Garin: This morning you woke up and what happened?

Friend: I woke up this morning, someone texted me and said, "Hey, you know Trai Donaldson, you’re friends with him." I was like "Yeah, I know him." I basically turned on the news and saw what was happening and I sat there for about an hour or two like blown away completely, like no way, there is no way.

We would always end up somehow talking. He was the nicest guy ever. He was very laid back, relaxed, not violent whatsoever.

Garin: What’s he like as a person?

Friend: If you put him in a lineup with people, he’d be the last person I’d ever expect to even own a gun in the first place.

The way I’ve heard the events have occurred, it’s like, it was almost like he was trying to just kill people to kill them. That’s the disgusting part of it and if it is him, God rest his soul because that’s horrible. I mean my prayers go out to the victim’s families 100 percent.

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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