The police utilized ballistics and video evidence to link a spate of shootings that had alarmed people in the Central Valley region.
The police chief of Stockton, California, Stanley McFadden, announced the arrest of a man on Saturday in connection with a series of deaths. Clifford Oto/The Stockton Record, via USA Today Network
Authorities claimed on Saturday that they have detained a man in connection with a string of deadly shootings across California's Central Valley, following a laborious investigation. The deaths had shook Stockton and adjacent cities.
Wesley Brownlee, 43, was caught in Stockton early Saturday while "out looking" for another victim, according to Stockton Police Chief Stanley McFadden during a press conference. Authorities stated that charges were pending.
The arrest occurred nearly two weeks after police said that five males between the ages of 21 and 54 had been fatally shot while alone in dimly lit places late at night or early in the morning between July 8 and September 27. Four of the males were Hispanic, while the fifth was Caucasian. Nobody was robbed.
Later, police claimed they had linked those cases to two other shootings: a 40-year-old Hispanic man slain in Oakland, Calif., some 70 miles west of Stockton, on April 10; and a 46-year-old Black woman wounded in Stockton on April 16 and survived.
On Oct. 4, Chief McFadden stated that detectives suspected they were dealing with a "possible serial murderer" after connecting the deaths with ballistic and video recordings, including a film showing a person walking with an irregular stride and an erect stance.
Investigators spoke with the survivor and discovered that she had been in her tent when she heard someone going about her campground. When she went outside, she observed someone in black clothing and a mask aiming a pistol at her, according to Chief McFadden.
According to Chief McFadden, she raced at the shooter and was shot numerous times before the assailant lowered his rifle.
The deaths sparked fear among some people, with many wondering who might be responsible for such cold-blooded crimes in Stockton, which is located in the agricultural flatlands of California's Central Valley. The city of 322,000 residents is located 80 miles east of the San Francisco Bay Area. It has long been plagued by poverty and violence.