Suspected Stockton serial killer caught with gun while ‘out hunting,’ police chief says – KCRA Sacramento
On Saturday, authorities in California arrested a man in connection with a series of killings that claimed the lives of six individuals.
The suspect, Wesley Brownlee, 43, was being watched by a police surveillance team who determined around 2 a.m. Saturday that he was “out hunting” and “on a mission to kill,” Stockton Police Chief Stanley McFadden explained.
“His patterns were consistent with some of the patterns we have observed,” said McFadden. “(He was) around parks, around dark places, stopping, looking around, moving again. And at that point, we thought, for the safety of the public, it was best to take this person in.”
In addition to wearing dark clothing, Brownlee had a mask around his neck, and he had a firearm with him at the time of his arrest, according to the police chief.
“We are confident that we have stopped another murder,” said the police chief.
According to McFadden, the suspect has a criminal history, but he was unsure of the extent of the history or the agencies involved.
The police chief did not provide a motive for the killings.
Stockton police previously stated they believed five homicides between July 8 and September 27 were connected. In all five cases, the victims were alone and were shot either in the evening or early in the morning, according to authorities. Among the victims, four were Hispanic men ranging in age from 21 to 54, while the fifth was a White man of 35 years of age.
Police have also linked two predawn shootings from 2021 to the string of attacks. On April 10, 2021, a 40-year-old Hispanic man was fatally shot in Oakland, and on April 16, 2021, a 46-year-old Black woman survived a shooting in Stockton.
Known facts about the killings
Last week, authorities announced that the reward for information leading to an arrest had been increased to $115,000. During a press conference held on Saturday, police said tips from the community had assisted them in catching the suspect.
“To the community, I would like to thank you for everything that you have done. We thank you for stepping up, exercising your voice, and submitting the hundreds of tips we receive on a daily basis,” said Stockton Mayor Kevin J. Lincoln.
“This would not have been possible without you,” the mayor stated.
Tori Verber Salazar, the district attorney for San Joaquin County, announced that deputy district attorneys are reviewing the evidence “as we speak” and determining what charges to bring.
The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office reported that Brownlee was being held in the county jail without bail.
Arraignment is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, according to Salazar. Afterward, the district attorney expects officials to announce the charges at another news conference.
For more coverage on this story, check the following additional news sources:
- Suspected Stockton serial killer caught with gun while ‘out hunting,’ police chief says KCRA Sacramento
- The suspect in a series of California killings was ‘out hunting’ when he was arrested, police say CNN
- California serial killer: Police arrest man suspected in Stockton murders Fox News
- Stockton killings not linked to Chicago homicides police say Stockton Record
- Suspected Stockton serial killer caught with gun while ‘out hunting,’ police chief says KCRA News