Man Arrested In Series Of Stockton, California Killings
A man suspected to be involved in a series of killings in Stockton, California, was arrested by the authorities last Saturday. Stanley McFadden, the Stockton Police Chief, informed through a news conference that the police acted on tips received from the public, which enabled them to arrest the man associated with 6 killings and one injury case since April last year.
43-year-old Wesley Brownlee was taken under police custody around 2 a.m. on Saturday. According to McFadden, he was dressed in dark clothing, wore a mask, and was armed. The police surveillance team kept a watch on him while he was driving and was successful in nabbing him. The police chief believes that the man was out to commit another murder, which was prevented due to his arrest.
As per investigators, the man followed a pattern of sneaking up on his victims before shooting them. While it’s likely that the man used his vehicle for the attack, he usually got on foot before actually opening fire on an unsuspecting victim. The Stockton police had indicated the same in earlier news conferences too.
The string of shootings, which began in April 2021, has claimed the lives of 6 individuals and injured one more. Ballistic evidence found at the site of the crime had helped the police connect the series of attacks to a common individual. While the authorities haven’t found any evidence to support the notion that the killings were race-based, the majority of victims were Latino. 3 of the 6 people killed were also homeless.
At a news conference held earlier this month, McFadden said that the police didn’t find any evidence that would prove that the motive was hate. According to witnesses, the killer never said anything during the attacks, which makes it difficult for the police to ascertain his motive for the killings. McFadden kept silent about the motive even during the news conference held on Saturday.
The police received tips from Stockton residents, which helped them identify the suspect. They kept watch on his residence and followed him while he went out in his vehicle. According to McFadden, the police identified that the man posed a threat, so they kept eyes on his residence until he made a move. The suspect resided near one of the scenes of homicide.
Although the police revealed no details, they confirmed that the man had a criminal history. A Stockton police SWAT team searched his residence, the results of which were not divulged during the news conference. However, the police later posted a picture of a 9 mm handgun they found in the suspect’s vehicle on their official FaceBook page. The man was arrested near a community centre at the city’s northern end.
The 6 victims killed in the attacks have been identified. They are Juan Vasquez Serrano (39), Paul Alexander Yaw (35), Juan Cruz (52), Jonathan Hernandez Rodriguez (21), Salvador Debudey Jr. (43), and Lawrence Lopez Sr. (54). The identity of the 46-year old woman who survived the attack albeit with injuries, however, remains unknown.
The first victim, Serrano, is believed to be fatally shot on 10th April 2021 at 4:20 am. The next attack was on the unidentified woman on 16th April. According to the survivor, she was shot around 3:20 a.m. when she went out to check who was creating a disturbance outside her tent.
In her description to the police, the woman mentioned that the attacker was around 5 feet, 10 inches in height and was weakening a mask and dark clothing – all of which matched with the man arrested. Although the suspect is under police custody, McFadden indicated that investigations are still ongoing, and any tips from the public are welcome.