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Police in California have arrested a man they believe is the Stockton serial killer. The man suspected to be behind the murders of six people was taken into custody while he “was out hunting,” according to the Stockton Police Department.
Stockton Police officers arrested 43-year-old Wesley Brownlee of Stockton around 2 a.m. on Saturday.
Stockton Police Chief Stanley McFadden believes that Brownlee was looking for his next victim. Brownlee was dressed in black, had a mask around his neck, and was armed with a gun. McFadden said that Brownlee was “out hunting.”
Police received tips from the public that led them to Brownlee’s home in the Central Valley area – where five of the shootings took place.
“Based on tips coming into the department and Stockton Crime Stoppers, we were able to zero in on a possible suspect,” McFadden said.
Law enforcement staked out his home, then followed him as he drove away from his residence. Police arrested Brownlee in the area of Village Green Drive and Winslow Way in Stockton.
“We are sure we stopped another killing,” McFadden announced during a press conference on Saturday. “Our surveillance team followed this person while he was driving. We watched his patterns and determined early this morning, he was on a mission to kill.”
McFadden said Brownlee was arrested after police watched him engage in suspicious activity, such as visiting parks and dark areas, as well as stopping and looking around before driving.
Investigators say video and ballistics evidence of the handgun that was in Brownlee’s possession link him to the crimes.
Brownlee is suspected to be the man behind a series of shootings that killed six men and injured a homeless woman in Northern California between April 10, 2021, and Sept. 27, 2022.
The Associated Press reported that Brownlee’s victims are Juan Vasquez Serrano, 39, who was killed in Oakland on April 10, 2021; Natasha LaTour, 46, who was shot in Stockton on April 16, 2021, but survived; Paul Yaw, 35, who died on July 8; Salvador Debudey Jr., 43, who died on Aug. 11; Jonathan Hernandez Rodriguez, 21, who died on Aug. 30; Juan Cruz, 52, who died on Sept. 21; and Lawrence Lopez Sr., 54, who died on Sept. 27.
The shootings by the suspected serial killer put Oakland and Stockton residents on edge for months.
Police said that Brownlee has a criminal history, but did not elaborate.
Brownlee is scheduled to be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday. He is expected to face murder charges.
The San Joaquin County District Attorney said, “My Deputy District Attorneys, who have been here all night, are reviewing the evidence as we speak and they’re working actively in partnership with the investigation to determine the charges that will proceed on.”
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