Stockton, California Serial Killer Being Sought by Police - 2022 *ARREST*

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Five unprovoked murders in the past several months appear to be the work of one person, according to the Stockton, California, Police Department.

Authorities are searching for a person of interest tied to the five slayings, the first of which occurred on July 8. All of the victims were men and all were alone at the time they were fatally shot, police said.

The killings all happened at night or in the early morning hours.

Police released only a few details about the string of murders and when they happened: a 35-year-old man fatally shot at 12:31 a.m. on July 8; a 43-year-old man fatally shot at 9:49 p.m. on Aug. 11; a 21-year-old man fatally shot at 6:41 a.m. on Aug. 30; a 52-year-old man fatally shot at 4:27 a.m. on Sept. 21; and a 54-year-old man fatally shot at 1:53 a.m. on Sept. 27.

Stockton police told ABC News that all of the victims were ambushed, none were robbed and none were drug- or gang-related. Police also told ABC News that they have physical evidence linking the five crime scenes together.

More at link: Stockton, California police search for apparent serial killer tied to 5 murders | abc7.com
 
None of the victims were publicly identified by police, but the family of the most recent victim identified him as Lorenzo Lopez, according to Sacramento ABC affiliate KXTV.

"He was just a person who was out here at the wrong place at the wrong time at the wrong circumstance," his brother Jerry Lopez told KXTV. "It's hard to process that this has happened. I mean, me and my brother have been like twins. We were a year a part so we were pretty close."

The city of Stockton said it was putting forward a $75,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the investigation. Stockton Crime Stoppers is posting an additional $10,000 reward.

The day after Lopez's killing, Stockton police had said at a press conference they were not sure if the string of killings were related.

"We're still looking at it from a random point of view, but we do see some similarities," Police Chief Stanley McFadden said Wednesday. "We have been provided absolutely zero evidence that leads us to believe that one individual is running rampant in the city of Stockton killing people."

But that changed two days later when the department tied the five killings together and released an image of a person of interest.

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I wonder if the reason they know they are tied together is because they have verified the bullets all came from the same gun?

I wonder if these men had anything in common at all, like they had gone to the same church or work together or something of that nature.
 
I wonder if the reason they know they are tied together is because they have verified the bullets all came from the same gun?
That was my thought as well.

The first two were more than a month apart. Probably no reason to suspect they were connected. They said "physical evidence", so ballistics would be a very good guess.

There does also seem to be some "escalation". About 5 weeks apart for the first two. And then 3 weeks later another. And then 3 weeks later again. And then 1 week. I wonder if there will be another soon (hopefully not) or if he'll try to lay low now that the pressure is on.
 
Interesting. Is @Mel70 following this--with her knowledge of and interest in serial killers?

As is the norm lately I don't have time to read the links but hope to as this is different...

My comments on the bit here though and in general:

At least they are informing the public they are related and it is one killer--so often agencies want to deny it and not panic people in the community with serial rapists or killers. A detriment imo that enables other killings and/or the safety of others. At least people and it seems men are the victims and at night or overnight/early morn.

Seems to be about one a month without him making it quite a whole month at times. Assuming it is a male. Could be a woman (more rare) being men are the victims.

I wonder if there is any relationship or connection between the victims. One though that popped into my head is just killing someone the perp felt wronged them or some such. It is a bit unique in that it is adult men and no sexual assault, etc. and shooting as the cause of death, and all of that is fairly unique when it comes to serial killers.

Of course Wuornos[sp?] crossed my mind as one of the few female serial killers and her thing seemed to be just killing men and those that would pay for sex. (Imo) No need to know them or any connection otherwise...
 
Six men were killed — five in Stockton this year and one in Oakland last year. The victims were identified by police as:


A 46-year-old Black woman is the only known survivor of the shootings. Stockton Police Chief Stanley McFadden said the woman biked to an encampment at Park and Union streets in Stockton where she was shot on April 16, 2021, at around 3:30 a.m.

The woman was by a tent when she saw a man, dressed in all dark clothing, wearing a dark face mask and a dark jacket. She said the man was anywhere between 5 foot 10 inches to 6 foot 2 inches.

The woman told police that no words were exchanged between them and that she tried defending herself by advancing toward him. She was hit multiple times by gunfire.

 
So the man in Oakland last year and the woman survivor were both homeless people. And then nothing for more than a year. I wonder if the shooter was locked up for something. Do we know the housing status of the latest victims?
 
Reward increased.
And yes, it was ballistics to connect the cases.


Federal agents have joined the hunt for a serial killer who Stockton police said has gunned down at least six people and wounded another in a city gripped by the slayings.

Stockton leaders in a Wednesday community town hall said FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents are among those now part of the growing effort to find the killer or killers, according to news reports, as a reward in the deadly shootings has swelled to $125,000.

The ATF earlier this week added $25,000 to the reward fund that hopes to coax information and unlock clues into the shootings.


Six people have so far been gunned down in the deadly string — five in Stockton, and one in Oakland — stretching back to 2021. All are tied, police now say, to a single weapon.

“This person is on a mission,” Stockton Police Chief Stanley McFadden said at a Tuesday news conference. McFadden said ballistics tests confirmed that the gun that nearly took a Stockton homeless woman’s life more than a year ago “interconnect these cases.”

Natasha Latour, the woman who survived the gunman, told Stockton community website 209 Times this week of the moment she was shot 10 times in an April 2021 attack at downtown Stockton train tracks by the gunman police now link to the killings that have gripped the city.
 
So the man in Oakland last year and the woman survivor were both homeless people. And then nothing for more than a year. I wonder if the shooter was locked up for something. Do we know the housing status of the latest victims?
Not that I’ve read. I have to wonder if he was practicing on homeless people first? They need to catch this guy. He’s got a thirst for blood.
 

Suspected Stockton serial killer arrested, was on a 'mission to kill'​

A suspected serial killer in the California city of Stockton was arrested Saturday, and police say they believe he was "out hunting" when he was nabbed.

"We are sure we stopped another killing," Stockton Police Chief Stanley McFadden said during a news conference Saturday.

Wesley Brownlee, 43, was arrested in connection with six unprovoked murders of men ages 21 to 54 over the last few months. He was booked on a homicide charge Saturday.

Police said surveillance teams followed Brownlee while he was driving and stopped in the area of Village Green Drive and Winslow Avenue around 2 a.m. Saturday morning.

"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. He was out hunting," McFadden said.

McFadden added, "As officers made contact with him, he was wearing dark clothing and a mask around his neck. He was also armed with a firearm when he was taken into custody."

Ahead of Brownlee's arraignment on Tuesday, the police chief said the suspect was near perfect in covering up his tracks and being careful.

"He didn't make many mistakes. We know he purposely stayed in the dark," McFadden said Monday.

Both police and the San Joaquin District Attorney's Office said it's remarkable they were able to make an arrest in less than 90 days of the crime spree.

"I don't think any of us can really grasp how hard that is," McFadden said.

Brownlee is a Stockton resident, officials aid, though they're unsure of his connection to Oakland but believe he used to live there.

Police have said additional charges are likely.

Police said that a motive is not known for the killings but it is believed to have been intentional.

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Suspect in Stockton serial killings Wesley Brownlee could still face the death penalty​

The man suspected in the killing of at least seven people in Stockton could still face the death penalty.

While in court on Monday, Wesley Brownlee’s attorneys tried to stop prosecutors from seeking the death penalty in the case.

A judge denied the motion. Prosecutors haven’t said if they’ll pursue the death penalty.

In 2019, Gov. Newsom signed an executive order to institute a moratorium on the death penalty.

Brownlee is accused of the murders of seven people, and one attempted murder.
 

Evidence hearing in Stockton serial killing case could come next summer​

A Stockton man and accused serial killer returned to court Monday in a criminal case charging him with seven counts of murder.

A quick discussion among attorneys and Judge Xapuri Villapudua Monday morning in the downtown Stockton courtroom indicated that a hearing on whether there's enough evidence to try Wesley Brownlee, 44, may not happen until next summer or later.

"I personally don't feel like our team is going to be ready by June" due to "significant discovery issues," Brownlee's public defender, Allison Nobert, said.

Nobert did not return a request for comment by deadline Monday. Deputy District Attorney Elton Grau, representing San Joaquin County, is prosecuting the case.


While it's unclear what specific issues may delay Brownlee's pretrial hearing, it's likely that the modus operandi of the killings and their occurrence in multiple police jurisdictions have made gathering evidence a challenge for investigators.

Prosecutors said last year that at least three of the attacks were carried out with a "ghost gun," a weapon notoriously difficult for law enforcement to trace due to its lack of serial number.

The District Attorney's office initially charged Brownlee for only three of the seven killings, all allegedly committed using the same untraceable firearm. Charges for the four remaining homicides had to wait for more evidence to be processed, then-DA Tori Verber Salazar said last year.

What's more, two of the homicides occurred in Alameda County, including at least one in Oakland, according to prosecutors.

That brings the Oakland Police Department into the equation. It's possible that the department's evidence processes could factor into how quickly case moves forward.

Villapudua on Monday ordered Brownlee back to court for further arraignment Dec. 4. Brownlee remains at the San Joaquin County Jail without bail.
 

Evidence hearing in Stockton serial killing case could come next summer​

A Stockton man and accused serial killer returned to court Monday in a criminal case charging him with seven counts of murder.

A quick discussion among attorneys and Judge Xapuri Villapudua Monday morning in the downtown Stockton courtroom indicated that a hearing on whether there's enough evidence to try Wesley Brownlee, 44, may not happen until next summer or later.

"I personally don't feel like our team is going to be ready by June" due to "significant discovery issues," Brownlee's public defender, Allison Nobert, said.

Nobert did not return a request for comment by deadline Monday. Deputy District Attorney Elton Grau, representing San Joaquin County, is prosecuting the case.


While it's unclear what specific issues may delay Brownlee's pretrial hearing, it's likely that the modus operandi of the killings and their occurrence in multiple police jurisdictions have made gathering evidence a challenge for investigators.

Prosecutors said last year that at least three of the attacks were carried out with a "ghost gun," a weapon notoriously difficult for law enforcement to trace due to its lack of serial number.

The District Attorney's office initially charged Brownlee for only three of the seven killings, all allegedly committed using the same untraceable firearm. Charges for the four remaining homicides had to wait for more evidence to be processed, then-DA Tori Verber Salazar said last year.

What's more, two of the homicides occurred in Alameda County, including at least one in Oakland, according to prosecutors.

That brings the Oakland Police Department into the equation. It's possible that the department's evidence processes could factor into how quickly case moves forward.

Villapudua on Monday ordered Brownlee back to court for further arraignment Dec. 4. Brownlee remains at the San Joaquin County Jail without bail.
MAJOR delay. Noted. More so it sounds like it is as much due to prosecutors with trouble with all the jurisdiction and evidence gathering thing but apparently the public defender made no argument as to significant discovery issues they are having (due to prosecution) and yet it is a motion for whether there is enough evidence to try the defendant but defense is okay with pros having a ton more time and heir hearing put off until next summer or later. HUH??? What???
 
Who really cares if the trial is delayed? He's in prison and ain't going anywhere.
Well I kind of care about families that wait for justice, whose lives are on hold, and that our system WORKS and that reasons for delays aren't due to big problems in the case and more. Do you need more reasons than that because I can try to find the time to list them all. Not to mention this is worrisome in that even for the defendant, the public defender seems to be allowing the prosecution a lot more time to find more proof against their client, how is THAT defending their client? If I read it right, then you didn't. They moved off a defense filing and hearing until possibly next SUMMER or later while the prosecution gets time to more fully do what they need to. Uhm, they filed the charges and know the clock on that...
 
Well I kind of care about families that wait for justice, whose lives are on hold, and that our system WORKS and that reasons for delays aren't due to big problems in the case and more. Do you need more reasons than that because I can try to find the time to list them all. Not to mention this is worrisome in that even for the defendant, the public defender seems to be allowing the prosecution a lot more time to find more proof against their client, how is THAT defending their client? If I read it right, then you didn't. They moved off a defense filing and hearing until possibly next SUMMER or later while the prosecution gets time to more fully do what they need to. Uhm, they filed the charges and know the clock on that...

It would be nice if it worked that way, but it never does. Unfortunately, people have to get used to it.
 

Stockton serial killings suspect appears in court for further arraignment​

The man being accused of more than half a dozen murders across Northern California returned to a San Joaquin County courtroom on Monday morning.

Wesley Brownlee is accused of seven deadly shootings over 18 months.

The locations of the shootings span from Stockton to Oakland.

Brownlee is also facing an attempted murder charge for allegedly shooting and wounding the only known survivor of the shooting spree.

During the further arraignment held on Jan. 29, Brownlee's representation voiced concerns to the court, explaining they believe, "identity will be an issue in this case."

His counsel said they have concerns over finding an appropriate jury, as well as Brownee's current appearance represented to the public. They asked all media be removed from the courtroom. The request was denied.

At present, Brownlee's representation said they don't have the data needed, nor do they currently have an appropriate firearms expert.

If convicted of all counts, Brownlee could fall under a serial killer classification.

An evidence hearing could be scheduled as early as the summer of 2024, though most likely, it will be scheduled for early fall of 2024.

If Brownlee is found guilty on all counts, he could face the death penalty.

A status conference is set for March 18.

A preliminary hearing was also set for Sept. 4, 5 and 6 at 9 a.m.
 

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