Is this the face of the Stockton Killer? Wesley Brownlee arrested just as he was 'about to
STOCKTON, CALIFORNIA: A suspected serial killer, who terrorized the Stockton and Oakland areas of California, has reportedly been apprehended. According to the authorities, the suspect, Wesley Brownlee, 43, was caught just when he was about to take another life.
According to a Daily Mail report, Stanley McFadden, the chief of police in Stockton, California, stated on Saturday, October 15, that "Early this morning he was on a mission to kill, he was out hunting." The chief continued, "He was wearing dark clothing and had a mask around his neck. He was also armed with a firearm when he was taken into custody. We are sure we stopped another killing." Brownlee is suspected of terrorizing the community for over a year.
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 is currently in custody and will be arraigned on Tuesday afternoon, October 18. According to police chief McFadden, "community tips" and "good old-fashioned police work" led to a breakthrough in the case. Since the start of 2021, authorities have so far been able to link six gun deaths in Californian cities to a single murderer. Law enforcement officials called Brownlee's murderous rampage a "reign of terror." Only one of his supposed victims lived after being shot.
Earlier this month, police released a video of a man they thought was the Stockton serial killer. The Stockton police department told the portal on Saturday, October 15, that they thought the person seen in the surveillance footage was the same person.
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
Brownlee alleged first murder took place on April 21 of last year, and his most recent 'hunt' happened less than a month before his arrest. His first victim was Miguel Vasquez Serrano, 39, who died in East Oakland last April. The next victim wasn't killed until early July of this year. Paul Yaw, 35, was killed on July 8; Salvador Debudey Jr, 43, on August 11; Jonathan Hernandez Rodriguez, 21, on August 30; and Juan Cruz, 52, on September 21. He is accused of killing Lawrence Lopez Sr most recently, who died on September 27. Stockton police Chief Stanley McFadden explained that these unsolved homicides that occurred between July 8 to September 27 happened in the dark when the victims were alone. Four of the five victims were Hispanics between the ages of 21 and 54, as reported by ABC7.
Following the arrest, Stockton Mayor Kevin Lincoln stated that residents should be able to "rest a little bit easier tonight." He stated, "I want to make this very very clear, to the people of Stockton, to the United States, and around the world. When the people of Stockton come together and we unite we can get things done. Stockton will be a place where people can live, raise a family and grow a business."
None of the victims appeared to know one another, and none were robbed or physically assaulted before being killed. Police added that it didn't seem like the killings had anything to do with gangs or drugs. Despite not yet having a motive, police say they think the murderer was "mission-oriented." Law enforcement is also baffled as to why the murderer allegedly took a break from killing between his initial rampage in April 2021 and his resumption in July of this year.