Skip to main content

Suspected Tampa Serial Killer Briefly Played Basketball for St. John’s

Trai Donaldson was a walk-on guard for St. John’s. 

The man arrested Tuesday by Tampa police as the suspect in a series of apparently random killings, Howell Emanuel “Trai” Donaldson III, is a former St. John’s basketball player. 

Donaldson was a walk-on guard for the Red Storm during the 2011–12 season but never appeared in a game, the New York Post reports. His bio on the St. John’s website was quickly scrubbed, though a cached version can be seen here.

Donaldson is accused of killing four people—ranging in age from 22 to 60—between Oct. 9 and Nov. 14 in Tampa’s Seminole Heights neighborhood. He was captured after he asked a coworker at McDonald’s to hold onto a loaded gun, which police later determined was the same gun used in the first three killings. Police also linked Donaldson’s cell phone to the times and locations of the murders.

Donaldson is due in court on Thursday.