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

Wesley Brownlee, 43, was arrested in connection with the murders of six men.

October 17, 2022, 10:11 PM

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.

PHOTO: Wesley Brownlee, 43, was arrested and charged with homicide Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. Authorities believe he is connected to a series of killings in Stockton, Calif.
Wesley Brownlee, 43, was arrested and charged with homicide Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. Authorities believe he is connected to a series of killings in Stockton, Calif.
Stockton Police Department

"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.

The San Joaquin County's Office of the Medical Examiner identified the victims. Paul Yaw, 35, was killed on July 8; Salvador Debudey Jr., 43, died on Aug. 11; Jonathan Hernandez Rodriguez, 21, was killed on Aug. 30; Juan Cruz, 52, was the Sept. 21 victim; and Lawrence Lopez Sr., 54, was slain on Sept. 27.

The men were alone at the time when they were fatally shot, officials said. All of the killings took place at night or in the early morning hours, police said.

Another shooting, of a 46-year-old Black woman at Park Street and Union Street in Stockton at 3:20 a.m. on April 16, 2021, was also linked to the investigation, police said earlier this month. The woman survived her injuries in that shooting, they said.

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

ABC News' Mark Osborne, Emily Shapiro and Mona Kosar Abdi contributed to this report.

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