STOCKTON, Calif. —A man has been arrested in Stockton in connection to a series of killings in the city and one in Oakland, authorities announced on Saturday. He could face charges for the murders of six men that were linked through ballistics.
Wesley Brownlee, 43, was arrested overnight “while out hunting,” police Chief Stanley McFadden said at a news conference with City Manager Harry Black, Mayor Kevin Lincoln and San Joaquin County District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar.
The police chief said the arrest was made possible thanks to community tips and the work of the 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.
He was caught around 2 a.m. at Winslow Way and Village Green Drive and was wearing dark clothing with a mask around his neck and armed with a firearm in his waistband, police confirmed to KCRA 3.
Authorities are now working to identify if the weapon found is linked to the other shootings.
Authorities said that Brownlee has lived in Stockton off and on, while also living in other cities. He has a criminal record, though police did not detail the previous crimes.
According to public records, Brownlee has a criminal history in California and Arizona connected to past drug violations, traffic violations, and a DUI.
Stockton’s mayor said the city will be able to get past this and that public safety is their number one priority.
“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,” Mayor Kevin Lincoln said.
Salazar on the arrest of Brownlee said, “The crime was solved because we’re Stockton. You don’t come to our house and bring this reign of terror.”
Brownlee will appear in court on Tuesday afternoon, officials said. Salazar said the district attorney’s office is working to determine the charges against him.
Officials are still unsure what the motive behind the killings are, but said his patterns were consistent.
It’s unclear if the gun police found on Saturday is linked to all seven shootings.
“I am grateful for the work of the Stockton Police Department and law enforcement agencies who lent their support to this investigation, including the California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Firearms and Bureau of Forensic Services,” Attorney General Rob Bonta said in a statement. “When we face a challenge or threat to the safety of Californians, we stand stronger when we stand together. Because of our collaborative work, the citizens of Stockton and California communities can feel comfort in knowing that this suspect is now in custody.”
Who are the victims?
Six men were killed — five in Stockton this year and one in Oakland last year. The victims were identified by police as:
- 35-year-old Paul Alexander Yaw
- 43-year-old Salvador William Debudey Jr.
- 21-year-old Jonathan Hernandez Rodriguez
- 52-year-old Juan Cruz
- 52-year-old Lorenzo Lopez
The victim in Oakland was a 40-year-old Hispanic man. Affiliate KTVU reported that the coroner identified the man as Juan Miguel Vasquez Serrano.
A 46-year-old Black woman is the only known survivor of the shootings. Stockton Police Chief Stanley McFadden said the woman biked to an encampment at Park and Union streets in Stockton where she was shot on April 16, 2021, at around 3:30 a.m.
The woman was by a tent when she saw a man, dressed in all dark clothing, wearing a dark face mask and a dark jacket. She said the man was anywhere between 5 foot 10 inches to 6 foot 2 inches.
The woman told police that no words were exchanged between them and that she tried defending herself by advancing toward him. She was hit multiple times by gunfire.
Where did the shootings happen?
Most of the deadly shootings happened in Stockton within a four-mile radius of one another. The shooting where the woman survived happened to the south of the five deadly shootings.
Here’s a map with more information:
Authorities ask for people to continue to send in tips
McFadden said it is still a “very active investigation.”
“Just because an arrest was made, does not mean the investigation stops,” McFadden said.
He said they still need more tips to come in.
A tip line will remain open for people to submit information at 209-937-8167. People can email tips to at policetips@. Video surveillance can be submitted to .
Source: KCRA3 reported the original story.