“We have a series of homicides that we believe are interconnected,” Stockton police Chief Stanley McFadden said at a Sept. 30 press conference, the San Francisco Gate reported. “By definition, you could probably very well call this serial killings.”
The first of the seemingly linked slayings, which mostly occurred in northern Stockton near San Joaquin Delta College, was on July 8 at around 12:30 a.m. and took the life of Paul Alexander Yaw, 35.
“He was a great man with a big heart,” the victim’s mother, Greta Bogrow, said in a statement. “He was my son, a father, a grandson, nephew, cousin and brother and was loved by many.”
The following month, there were two more fatalities — Salvador William Dubedy Jr., 43, was shot in a parking lot on Aug. 11 shortly before 10 p.m., and an unidentified man was murdered at about 6:40 a.m. on Aug. 30.
At 4:27 a.m. on Sept. 21, an unidentified 52-year-old was killed, and on Sept. 27, Lorenzo Lopez, 54, was gunned down just before 2 a.m.
“He was there for me. He was watching out for me. I wish I could’ve watched out for him,” the last victim’s brother, Jerry Lopez, told KCRA.
According to McFadden, investigators “have been working around the clock on these investigations,” and they have ruled out any connection with gang violence, robbery or hate crimes.
The five victims, he said, were of varying ages and races, but were each killed when walking alone in a dark area.
“If anyone, has information regarding these investigations, call us immediately,” McFadden said. “Please remember our victims have grieving family members who need resolution.”
Stockton police have set up a tip line at (209) 937-8167, and tips also can be emailed to email@example.com.