Neighbors in shock after arrest of suspected serial killer

Played basketball in high school and college

TAMPA - It’s unclear when Howell Donaldson, known as Trai, last lived in a Town & Country home with his parents and siblings, but neighbors tell us they just can’t believe he’s a killer.

“Just to know that he lived right here, he could have done the same thing in his own neighborhood. It’s scary,” said Diana Williams.

“Wow, I knew that face looked a little familiar on the news,” said Michael Brim.

Sylvia Fernandez lives right next door. She didn’t want us to show her face, but says she’s known the family for 15 years.

“I think it’s a terrible mistake. They’ve been wonderful neighbors. I couldn’t ask for better neighbors. I’ve told Hal more than once, you are the best neighbors we’ve ever had,” she said.

Donaldson played guard on the Alonso High School basketball team and graduated in 2011.

Then he went to college in New York City at St. John’s University where he walked on their team, but never got in a game.

The school confirms he graduated in January.

Meanwhile, there is a hoop and ball outside the family home where no one answered Wednesday morning.

And neighbors are left to wonder what could have motivated a young man to go down such a dark path.

“It’s scary. I just can’t believe this,” said Williams.

Neighbors say Donaldson’s father is a great person who looked after older people in need and even helped one woman put up her hurricane shutters.

Neither the principal nor the basketball coach at Alonso High School had any comment.

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