Wesley Brownlee, 43, of Stockton, has been arrested in connection with the latest string of murders, police say.
STOCKTON, California – The Stockton Police Department on Saturday announced the arrest of a suspect in the latest string of serial killings.
Wesley Brownlee, 43, of Stockton, has been arrested on manslaughter charges in connection with the killings, police say.
Police Chief Stanley McFadden says tips that came through the Stockton Crime Stoppers line helped authorities “find a suspect” where to follow him driving around.
“We observed his patterns and determined this morning that he was on a mission to kill. He was on the hunt,” McFadden said. “He was pulled over by our team in the Village Green Drive and Winslow Ave area around 2 a.m. this morning… We are confident that we prevented another homicide.”
The suspect was taken into custody wearing dark clothing with a mask around his neck and was armed with a firearm, officials said.
“I am grateful for the work of the Stockton Police Department and law enforcement agencies in assisting this investigation,” said Attorney General Rob Bonta. “When we face a challenge or threat to the security of Californians, we are stronger when we stand together. TThe citizens of Stockton and the California communities can rest easy knowing that this suspect is now in custody.”
The suspect will be charged on Tuesday, when officials will announce additional charges.
This remains an ongoing and fluid investigation, according to officials.
Stay tuned to ABC10 for live coverage online.
A serial killer may have ambushed seven people individually in the past few months and shot them alone in the dark.
None of the five victims originally linked were robbed or beaten before the shootings – all of which occurred within a few square miles – and none appear to have known each other, Stockton Police Officer Joseph Silva said. The shootings also don’t seem to have anything to do with gangs or drugs.
Police most recently linked a nonfatal shooting of a black woman on Park and Union Streets in April 2021 and a shooting of a Hispanic man in Oakland in April 2021 to the investigation into the murders.
Authorities released a grainy still image of an “interesting person” dressed all in black and wearing a black beanie, who appeared in videos from multiple crime scenes.
- April 10, 2021: The gunshot death of the 39-year-old Juan Vasquez Serrano in Oakland. It happened around 4:20 a.m
- April 16, 2021: An unidentified 46-year-old woman was shot dead at approximately 3:20 a.m. on Park Street and Union Street in Stockton. She survived the shooting.
- July 8: The shooting of Paul Yaw, a 35-year-old male, at the 5600 block of Kermit Lane. It happened around 12:30 p.m
- August 11: The shooting of Salvador Debudey Jr., a 43-year-old male, at Block 4900 of West Lane. It happened around 9:50 p.m
- Aug. 30: The shooting of Jonathan Hernandez Rodriguez, a 21-year-old male, on the 800 block of E. Hammer Lane. It happened around 6:40 a.m
- 21 Sept: The shooting of Juan Cruz, a 52-year-old male, at 4400 Block of Manchester Avenue. It happened around 4:30 a.m
- 27 Sept: The shooting of Lawrence Lopez Sr., a 54-year-old man at the 900 block of Porter Avenue. It happened around 2am
RELATED: Timeline: Stockton police connect six serial murders
“It’s overwhelming,” said Nick Yaw, cousin of Paul Yaw. “I never imagined that a serial killer would be the one who murdered my cousin. It is frightening. It’s really scary.”
Yaw said his cousin was more like a brother who loved fishing and cars.
“It’s terrible that this happened to him. I just hope we find the killer,” he said.
None of the shootings were caught on video cameras and no firearms were seized.
“We have no video of anyone holding a gun or actually committing a crime,” Silva said in a phone interview Monday.
Several people can even be involved in the violence. “To be honest, we just don’t know,” he said. “This person or people who do this are definitely very brave and bold.”
Police said four of the victims were each walking alone and a fifth was in a parked car when they were killed in Stockton in the evening or early morning. It is not clear what the April 2021 victims were doing before they were shot.
The ages of the murder victims range from 21 to 54; five of the men were Hispanic and one was white.
San Joaquin Delta College has sent messages to the college community about staying alert, and students are heeding that advice.
“I normally like to make a lot of phone calls, but now I just want to make sure I look around on both sides. When I take the bus, I make sure of what’s around me, what’s behind me,” said Anthony Sinclair, a Delta College undergraduate.
The college is also increasing patrols to ensure student safety. Stockton Police have also increased their patrols at night as detectives and task force members work around the clock on the case.
See more from ABC10: The Stockton Police Chief arrives at an abandoned camp to warn of a serial killer
https://www.kvue.com/article/news/local/stockton-police-serial-killings-case-announcement/103-e8031655-614d-4a38-af2f-8cd8dadfe3dc Stockton Serial Killings: Authorities Announce Important Update