Hunting

Stockton serial murder timeline: 43-year-old suspect arrested while ‘hunting’

A suspected serial killer in Stockton, Calif., was apprehended over the weekend while “looking” for another victim, police say.

What we know

The suspect, 43-year-old Stockton resident Wesley Brownlee, was arrested while driving early Saturday, Stockton Police Chief Stanley McFadden said at a news conference.

Police say authorities zeroed in on Brownlee from tips and officers and watched Brownlee as he drove.

“His patterns were consistent with some of the patterns we had seen…around parks, around dark places, stopping, looking around, moving again,” the chief said.

“He was on a mission to kill. He was on the hunt,” McFadden said in a statement. “When officers made contact with him he was wearing dark clothes and a mask around his neck. He was also armed with a gun when he was arrested. We are sure we have arrested another murder. “

Here’s how the crimes unfolded:

April 10, 2021

At 4:18 a.m. on April 10, 2021, a 40-year-old man was fatally shot in Oakland, California. Stockton police said on Monday the killing was linked to the spree; all other attacks took place in Stockton.

April 16, 2021

A few days later, on April 16, 2021, at 3:20 a.m., a 46-year-old woman was shot dead in Stockton and survived her injuries, police said.

She told the officers she was in her tent and heard someone approaching. She walked out to find someone holding a gun, police said. Several shots were fired but the shooter said nothing, she told police.

That shooting was also linked to the frenzy, police said.

July 8, 2022

More than a year has passed.

Then on July 8 at 12:31 a.m., a 35-year-old man, Paul Yaw, was shot and killed in Stockton, police said.

Yaw “was a good boy who grew into a good man with a big heart,” his family said in a statement to ABC News. “He was a son, a brother, a father, a grandson, a nephew and a cousin.”

Paul Alexander Yaw, 35, was one of the victims of a serial killer in Stockton, California.

Greta Bogrow

August 11, 2022

A few weeks later, on August 11 at 9:49 p.m., a 43-year-old man, Salvador Debudey Jr., was shot and killed, police said.

August 30, 2022

The next victim was Jonathan Hernandez Rodriguez, 21, who was shot at 6:41 a.m. on August 30 in Stockton.

PHOTO: Stockton, Calif., police have released the locations of five murders believed to have been committed by the same person since July 8.

Stockton, Calif., police have released the locations of five murders believed to have been committed by the same person since July 8.

Stockton Police Department

September 21, 2022

A 52-year-old man, Juan Cruz, was fatally shot in Stockton at 4.27am on September 21, police said.

September 27, 2022

The latest victim was Lawrence Lopez Sr., 54, who was fatally shot at 1:53 a.m. on September 27, police said.

Lopez was a musician who leaves behind six children, Jerry Lopez, his brother, told ABC News.

“It’s mind-boggling that the deaths are supposedly linked,” Jerry Lopez said.

In this undated photo released by the Lopez family, Lorenzo Lopez is shown.

Jerry Lopez Family

September 30, 2022

On September 30, Stockton police announced they believed the five 2022 homicides were related, adding that they met the definition of a serial killer.

Police released this image of a man believed to be a person of interest.

PHOTO: Stockton, Calif., police released a photo of a person of interest in the murders of five men in the city since July.

Stockton, Calif. police released a photo of a person of interest in the murders of five men in the town since July.

Stockton Police Department

October 3, 2022

On Oct. 3, police said they believed the two 2021 shootings — one fatal and one non-fatal — were also related.

October 4, 2022

On October 4, Stockton Police released a short video of a person of interest.

McFadden said it’s unclear whether the person of interest in the video “is a suspect or a witness, but it’s an individual we’ve seen at more than one scene.”

Police are asking anyone with information to call Stockton Crime Stoppers at 209-946-0600.

October 15, 2022

Wesley Brownlee was arrested for homicide early Saturday morning and is due in court Tuesday afternoon, the chief said.

McFadden said he had very emotional conversations with the victims’ families.

“While there are no words we can say that will bring back lost loved ones, the least we can do is do our part – to bring justice,” he said.

ABC News’ Zohreen Shah, Alyssa Pone, Jenna Harrison Esseling and Caroline Guthrie contributed to this report.