Wesley Brownlee: Suspected Stockton serial killer charged with 3 murders after cops recover 'ghost gun'
STOCKTON, CALIFORNIA: The Stockton serial killer made his first appearance in court on Tuesday, October 18, and was charged in connection with three counts of murders, among additional charges after authorities reported they found a key piece of evidence that linked to the killings.
Wesley Brownlee, 43, was arrested on Saturday after police connected him to multiple murders. Ballistic evidence and surveillance footage also linked him to the crime scene but it was only after a gun that was recovered in his possession sealed his fate, said reports. Authorities found a so-called ghost gun, a firearm lacking a serial number on him when he was arrested and they say was the same one used in at least three of the murders, reported Daily Beast. Prosecutors revealed that cellphone data placed Brownlee near the scene of the three murders
Homicide Series Update: Wesley Brownlee, 43, was arrested this morning in Stockton in connection to our homicide series investigation. During a press conference, Chief McFadden said Wesley was out hunting and we prevented another killing from happening. pic.twitter.com/u0KfKmbhXZ— Stockton Police Dept (@StocktonPolice) October 15, 2022
Brownlee, who is dubbed the "Stockton serial killer," was charged by San Joaquin County, California for the deaths of Jonathan Rodriguez, 21, Juan Carlos Carranza-Cruz, 52, and Lawrence Lopez, 54. District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar said that they can “confirm with confidence the same gun was used” in at least three of the killings. According to The Sun, the gun Salazar is referring to is the same gun that was found on Brownlee when they arrested him while he was allegedly "out hunting" for another victim.
Homicide Series Update: Today Chief McFadden released a video of the "Person of Interest" in regards to this series. If you have any info, please call 209-937-8167. There is a $125,000 reward for info that leads to an arrest. pic.twitter.com/QLhcobVFJZ— Stockton Police Dept (@StocktonPolice) October 5, 2022
Police located him wearing dark clothes with a mask around his neck, carrying a handgun. "He was on a mission to kill," officials said. "He was out hunting. He was stopped by our own team around 2am this morning." The fatal shootings of men spanned from April 2021 to September 2022, according to police. Five of the six killings were in Stockton; one was in Oakland. The six victims did not show signs of assault or indicated theft. A seventh victim, a 46-year-old woman, was shot in April 2021 and is the only survivor.
However, police suspect Brownlee for the murder attempt of a 46-year-old woman from Stockton, while also thinking he is responsible for another murder that also took place in 2021 in Oakland. Brownlee was also charged with one count of felony firearm possession and one count of possession of ammunition, according to the DA. Brownlee is yet to be charged for the other murders. 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," Stanley McFadden. A motive is still not known.