Seven shootings, six of which were fatal, have now been connected by Stockton Police to a probable California serial killer who is still at large. Authorities have revealed that the seemingly random killings started in April of last year, which is more than a year earlier than previously thought. They have also issued a warning that there may be more victims.
By comparing ballistics evidence to a state database and using surveillance video from some of the crime locations, police have established links between all seven shootings. Stockton Police Public Information Officer Joe Silva told NPR that there is “certainly a possibility that there could be more as the investigation progresses.”
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According to Silva, a team of detectives is looking into earlier gunshot homicides to see whether there are any connections to the new rash of violence. The agency has also requested that other neighbourhood precincts look over their cases for any matches.
A survivor offers few details about the shooter and police have few tangible leads
Authorities announced last week that a serial killer may be to blame for the recent shooting killings that have alarmed Stockton locals and occurred between July 8 and September 27. They added that all of the victims had lived within the city limits and were men. New research, however, suggests that the more recent shootings may be connected to a 40-year-old Hispanic male who was fatally shot in Oakland on April 10, 2021.
The murder would be the first in a series to occur outside of Stockton. Police have also linked the suspect to the shooting death of a 46-year-old Black woman in Stockton on April 16, 2021. She is the lone victim who has lived through her injuries, in contrast to the other victims, and the only woman who seems to have been specifically targeted.
Silva noted that there may be more than one gunman engaged in the run of deaths and added, “Our detectives have been working with her to figure out as much as we can.” Silva added, “She described her shooter as a male of unknown race, between 5’10” and 6 feet tall, with a slender frame.
He was sporting a black face mask, dark leggings, and a sweatshirt with the hood drawn up over his head on the day of the incident. Silva observed that it was strange that while working around the clock and receiving numerous calls and tips, they currently had no viable leads.
Officials release video footage of a person-of-interest
The FBI, California Highway Patrol, many local sheriff’s offices, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives are among the local and federal organisations that the Stockton Police Department is collaborating with to identify and apprehend the offender or offender.
The San Joaquin County Office of the Medical Examiner has identified the five victims who died in recent months: Paul Yaw, 35, who was murdered on July 8; Salvador Debudey Jr., 43; Jonathan Hernandez Rodriguez, 21; Juan Cruz, 52; and Lawrence Lopez Sr., 54; all of whom were shot to death in separate incidents on separate dates in August, September, and October.
Homicide Series Update: Today Chief McFadden released a video of the “Person of Interest” in regards to this series. If you have any info, please call 209-937-8167. There is a $125,000 reward for info that leads to an arrest. pic.twitter.com/QLhcobVFJZ
— Stockton Police Dept (@StocktonPolice) October 5, 2022
Investigators think they’ve found a “person of interest” after viewing numerous hours of surveillance footage, the police department declared in a statement that featured a grainy screengrab of an unidentified figure wearing a dark sweatshirt and dark leggings. The same guy, whose face is never seen by the camera, is featured in a brief video that was made public by officials on Tuesday.
Silva claimed that all of the victims were out late at night or early in the morning, by themselves, and in dimly lit areas in every instance, including the event in Oakland and the assault on the woman last year. He claimed, “That’s when they were ambushed.” He said that none of the incidents included robbery or was thought to be gang-related.
Police are requesting that anyone with information on the killings get in touch with them. A $125,000 reward is being offered as of Tuesday for information that results in an arrest.
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