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Suspected California Serial Killer Accused of 7 Counts of Murder After Going ‘Out Hunting’ for Victims: Police Chief

stockton police
Source: Stockton police

Dec. 8 2023, Published 2:03 p.m. ET

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Police in California made an arrest in connection with what they believe may have been the shooting deaths of six male victims at the hands of one serial killer.

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According to police Chief Stanley McFadden, around 2 a.m. on Oct. 15, 2022, officers in Stockton acting on tips stopped the vehicle of Wesley Brownlee, 43, as he drove around the city armed with a semi-automatic handgun, NPR reported.

Many of the shootings, the police chief said, were caught on camera and allegedly showed the suspected killer wearing black during the crimes.

As FrontPageDetectives previously reported, law enforcement officials said the ambushed victims of varying races and ages were shot late at night or in the early morning while walking or out alone between July 8 and Sept. 27, 2022.

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McFadden said before the arrest, officers watching Brownlee’s patterns noted he was driving and stopping in dark areas that included parks and then would move on, according to NPR.

When officers stopped Brownlee, a former truck driver, the police chief said the suspect had a mask around his neck and wore black clothing as he “was out hunting” in the same area where five men had been shot and killed since July. “We are sure we stopped another killing.”

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The men murdered in Stockton last year include Paul Yaw, 35, who was fatally shot on July 8, 2022; Salvador Debudey Jr., 43, who died Aug. 11, 2022; Jonathan Hernandez Rodriguez, 21, who was killed Aug. 30, 2022; Juan Cruz, 52, who was murdered Sept. 21, 2022; and Lawrence Lopez Sr., 54, who died six days later, on Sept. 27, 2022.

Two other victims may be connected with the case, police said. Natasha LaTour, 46, was shot on April 16, 2021, but survived her injuries, while Juan Vasquez Serrano, 39, was killed in Oakland on April 10, 2021.

Police have not identified a motive in the case.

Although the death penalty was halted by executive order in California in 2019, a judge ruled earlier this year that Brownlee could still be eligible to receive death sentence if he is convicted of the charges against him, The Record reported.

His charged include seven counts of murder, and one count of attempted murder, according to the publication.

"There has not been ... either by way of the legislature or by way of a court decision, [anything] that says that the death penalty is not an appropriate potential punishment," prosecutor Elton Grau said at a recent hearing. "Therefore, the law of the land is that the death penalty is an applicable punishment in these scenarios."


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