STOCKTON, CA, October 19, 2022–Prosecutors have charged a northern California man with fatally shooting three men whom police have said were among six victims slain by a serial killer over the past year and a half.
Wesley Brownlee, 43, was arrested Saturday on suspicion of killing six men and wounding a woman in a series of shootings dating back to April 2021. Police had been conducting surveillance on him on Saturday as he drove through the streets of Stockton, armed with a handgun and possibly “out hunting” for another victim.
The charges filed by the San Joaquin county district attorney’s office on Tuesday include three counts of murder, one count of a felon in possession of a firearm and one count of possession of ammunition.
Brownlee, a truck driver, is currently only charged in the three most recent slayings that occurred in Stockton.
Tori Verber Salazar, the county’s district attorney, said she expects to file additional charges in two other murders in Stockton, as well as an attempted murder. Another killing occurred last year in Oakland, which is located in Alameda county.
“There are some people who are just simply too dangerous to share the streets with you and I,” Verber Salazar said at a press conference after Brownlee’s arraignment.
Detectives are still seeking tips from the public because Brownlee might be linked to more crimes, according to Stanley McFadden, the Stockton police chief.
“We’re going to stay tenacious, we don’t know how many cases there are,” McFadden said.
The firearm found in Brownlee’s possession during his arrest is of a similar caliber to the one that was used in the violence. Authorities believe the same gun was used in the slayings of the three men and are testing it to determine whether it was used in the other shootings.
It was not immediately known if Brownlee has an attorney who can comment on his behalf. He is being held in jail without bail.
Authorities previously described the suspect, now identified as Brownlee, as a serial killer who was “on a mission” but did not appear to have a clear motive in who he targeted for his crimes. Investigators have said ballistics tests and video evidence linked the shootings.
The five men killed in Stockton this year were Paul Yaw, 35; Salvador Debudey Jr, 43; Jonathan Hernandez Rodriguez, 21; Juan Cruz, 52 and Lawrence Lopez Sr, 54. Juan Vasquez Serrano, 39, was killed in Oakland on 10 April 2021, and Natasha LaTour, 46, was shot in Stockton on 16 April that year but survived.
Brownlee has a criminal history that includes traffic violations and convictions for drug crimes that goes back to an arrest when he was 15 years old , according to the East Bay Times. He was most recently discharged from parole in 2006.
Source: The Guardian wrote the original article.