A quick-thinking McDonald’s manager in Tampa is being hailed a hero after her killer instinct stopped a hunted serial killer in his tracks last Tuesday.
When 24-year-old crew leader Howell Emanuel Donaldson III asked his boss, Delonda Walker, to hold a food bag for him while he went to the Amscot money superstore for a payday loan, she suspected something fishy was up—particularly per his remarks about leaving the state of Florida.
Upon opening the bag, Walker discovered a fully-loaded semiautomatic pistol.
In serendipitous timing, a police officer happened to be in the restaurant, so Walker alerted him to call for backup. When Donaldson got back, he was greeted by a crew of officers who quickly identified the gun in his bag as the murder weapon that killed four Tampa residents since early October.
The Tampa police department announced on Tuesday that Donaldson would be charged with four counts of first-degree murder for the fatal shootings of Benjamin Mitchell (22), Monica Hoffa (32), Anthony Naiboa (20), and Ronald Felton (60) in the Seminole Heights neighborhood. He may face the death penalty.
Impressed by her brave efforts and spot-on intuition, Walker has been praised by the likes of the mayor, police chief, and entire surrounding community.
“We are a safer community because Ms. Walker did the right thing,” remarked Mayor Bob Buckhorn, noting his relief that the 6-week manhunt is finally over.
“Fifty-one days ago I said this was a struggle between good and evil,” he added. “Well, tonight goodness has won.”
There was initially speculation as to whether Walker would receive the $110,000 reward offered up for the person who found the killer, but Chief Brian Dugan recently assured Tampa citizens that she would be receiving every penny.
“Let me be clear. She will receive all $110,000,” said Dugan. “That was the reward that was put up. She will receive every penny of that.”
As for Walker, she’s astonished that her act has received so much attention because she just wanted to “do the right thing.”
“I went to work on Tuesday intending to serve customers and do my job,” she said. “The day turned out very differently. When confronted with this situation, I wanted to do the right thing and I reached out to a nearby police officer. Receiving a reward never entered my mind.”
All the praise for this humble hero who followed her gut to put a murderer behind bars. In the words of Mayor Buckhorn, “It was a dark chapter in Tampa’s history, but now that darkness has been removed.”