That resulted in his manager notifying an officer who was inside the restaurant, and Donaldson was subsequently arrested.
"Relief. Sadness. I think it's a slew of emotions", said Brittany Lott, who said she hasn't walked her dogs in 51 days, choosing to spend time in the backyard instead.
Earlier in the day, Tampa police acted on a tip about a man with a gun.
"I'm optimistic about this one, but only time will tell", Tampa police Chief Brian Dugan said.
The officer called the operations center, and police determined it was the same gun used in the four murders.
He was wearing all black and a black baseball cap and armed with a large black pistol, police said.
On Oct. 11, 32-year-old Monica Hoffa, was slain.
Federal Bureau of Investigation joins hunt for missing 3-year-old North Carolina girl
Mariah lived with her mother and her mother's live-in boyfriend, and was reported missing on Monday at 6 a.m, WXII12 reported . Anyone with information should call 911, 1-800-843-5678 or the Onslow County Sheriff's Office at 1-910-989-4070.
Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan said in a news conference that he is "optimistic" the incident is connected to the recent murders in Seminole Heights.
Donaldson's alleged victims include Benjamin Mitchel, 22, who on October 9 was the first to be killed, followed by Monica Hoffa, 32, murdered October 11.
Citing the arrest affidavit, ABC Action News reported police found clothing inside Donaldson's vehicle in the McDonald's parking lot that "looked similar" to clothes worn by a person seen on surveillance footage on the night of one of the murder. "Well tonight, goodness has won ... tonight is the beginning of when justice will be served". "Our state is home to the world's best law enforcement community, and on behalf of all Floridians, we appreciate their bravery and service", Gov. Rick Scott said in a statement. Police said 60-year-old Ronald Felton was crossing the street when someone shot him from behind.
Howell Emanuel Donaldson III, 24, graduated from St. John's in January 2017, after enrolling there in the fall of the 2011, university officials confirm to News 4.
The most recent murder was November 14. He was seen casually walking in the Seminole Heights neighborhood looking down at a cell phone.
The four killings happened within a month, all of the victims were alone when they were shot.