At least six people in California have died and one person has suffered non-fatal injuries in connection with at least one shooter in the city of Stockton, and many now suspect that a serial killer may be on the loose.
According to police, the shootings of at least seven people — all of which were fatal, except one — can be tied directly back to one individual. Those shootings stretch as far back as April 2021 and continued as recently as September 27. All of the shootings have taken place within a few square miles, in the wee hours of the morning, while the victim was all alone.
"By definition, you could probably very well call this serial killings," Stockton police Chief Stanley McFadden said on Friday.
Police say they have "physical evidence" to link all the cases together, though they did not confirm that such evidence was related to ballistics. They did confirm that they have at least one common person of interest, whom they say is responsible for shooting:
- Juan Vasquez Serrano, 39, on April 10, 2021 at 4:18 a.m.
- an unidentified black woman, 46, on April 16, 2021 at 3:20 a.m.
- Paul Alexander Yaw, 35, on July 8, 2022
- Salvador Debudey Jr., 43, on August 11, 2022
- Jonathan Hernandez Rodriguez, 21, on August 30, 2022
- Juan Cruz, 52, on September 21, 2022
- Lawrence Lopez Sr., 54, on September 27, 2022
"It wasn’t a robbery," McFadden stated. "Items aren’t being stolen. They’re not talking about any gang activity in the area or anything. It’s just element of surprise."
Police have released a grainy security image of the person of interest. The person is dressed all in black and no face can be seen. Police are asking the public to help them apprehend this potentially dangerous individual, though they have not ruled out the possibility that others may be involved as well. A $95,000 reward is available to anyone with information that leads to an arrest.
"The number is 209-937-8167," a Facebook post from Stockton PD reads in part. "You can also email your information to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please submit any video surveillance to stocktonpdca.evidence.com/axon/citizen/public/tips2022 or scan the QR code and like always anonymous information can be submitted to Stockton Crime Stoppers at 209-946-0600 or stocktoncrimestoppers.org."
In the mean time, law enforcement strongly advises those in the greater Stockton area to avoid walking alone at night.