Stockton’s suspected serial killer has been formally charged with three counts of murder three days after he was arrested while allegedly searching for a victim.
Wesley Brownlee, 43, was charged Tuesday with three counts of murder, one count of firearms possession and one count of ammunition possession. San Francisco Chronicle reported.
He is now charged with the murders of Jonathan Rodriguez, 21, Juan Carlos Carranza-Cruz, 52, and Lawrence Lopez, 54. The three men were the latest victims in a killing spree that killed five people over the summer. In total, Wesley is suspected of committing at least six murders in a period of 18 months.
Brownlee was arrested by police around 2 a.m. Saturday after investigators received several tips about the person behind the attacks.
Officers saw him driving into parks and dark places, stopping and looking around before continuing on – with police saying he was hunting for new victims.
Police arrested him in a car in the Central Valley town, where five of the six shootings took place, and will be arraigned Tuesday afternoon.
Authorities linked him to the six ballistics deaths, praising “good old-fashioned policing” after they arrested him.
Law enforcement agencies described Brownlee’s killing as a “reign of terror” and released footage earlier this month of a man they believe was Stockton’s serial killer.
Brownlee is booked in the San Joaquin County Jail.
Wesley Brownlee, 43, was charged Tuesday with three counts of murder, one count of firearms possession and one count of possession of ammunition. He is suspected of killing a total of six people in the past 18 months
Jonathan Hernandez Rodriguez, 21, was found shot to death on August 30 in his vehicle at the apartment complex where he lived.
Lorenzo Lopez Sr, 54, left, was the killer’s last known victim and died on September 27
The victims of California’s ‘serial killer’ – who has been terrorizing the city for almost two years
Apr 10, 2021: Juan Miguel Vasquez Serrano, 39, was killed in East Oakland. He was homeless at the time of his murder
April 16, 2021: Natasha LaTour, 46, was shot in Stockton but survived. She was shot almost a dozen times at 3:20 am outside a tent where she was living at the time
July 8, 2022: Paul Yaw, 35, was killed in Stockton. He was one of only two non-Hispanic victims of the killer
August 11, 2022: Salvador Debudey Jr., 43, was killed in Stockton. Debudey was born and raised in Stockton and died on the spot after police tried to resuscitate him
August 30, 2022: Jonathan Hernandez Rodriguez, 21, was killed in Stockton. He was found dead in a car on East Hammer Lane. It was unclear whether he had been sleeping in the vehicle at the time of his murder
September 21, 2022: Juan Cruz, 52, was killed in Stockton
September 27, 2022: Lorenzo Lopez Sr., 54, was killed in Stockton. He was shot shortly before 2 a.m. in a residential area in central Stockton
Stockton Police Chief Stanley McFadden said on Saturday: “Early this morning he was on a mission to kill, he was hunting.
He was wearing dark clothes and a mask around his neck. He was also armed with a firearm when he was arrested. We’re sure we’ve stopped another murder.
“Our surveillance team followed this person while he was driving. We checked his cartridges and determined early this morning that he was on a mission to kill.”
On Tuesday, Wesley’s only known survivor described how he quietly crept up to her before opening fire.
Natasha LaTour, 46, was shot multiple times by Wesley Brownlee at a train station at 3:20 a.m. on April 16, 2021.
LaTour is the only person to survive an attack from Brownlee, who said he wore dark clothes and said nothing before shooting her nine times.
She had been standing close to the trail when Brownlee launched his unprovoked attack and saw a gun pointed at her.
Speak with ABC she said, “No words were exchanged. Didn’t get any closer. Said nothing. Just started shooting. I saw, I saw flashes.
“I was standing on the side and then a man came around the corner. They already had the gun out and just started firing. I ran to him, knowing I had to get closer to the street if I was to survive.
“There is a burn that is unbelievable. You’re wet all over and you don’t know why you’re wet, and I was really happy that my legs moved, but every time I moved my legs, I got wetter and I thought I was dying.
“I heard a car pass me and then I heard a door open or close and I could see them going down a little way and then I heard a man say, ‘I’m here, we’ll call 911 for you, worry to make.’
The gun Brownlee was carrying when he was arrested on Saturday. Police say Brownlee was on the hunt for a new victim when he was arrested early Saturday
Natasha LaTour, 46, was homeless when she was shot by the alleged serial killer in Stockton. She survived despite being shot nearly a dozen times
Paul Alexander Yaw, 35, was murdered on July 8 in a park close to his home as his family paid tribute to him as a ‘great father’
Lorenzo Lopez Sr, 54, left, was the killer’s last known victim and died on September 27. Salvador William Dubedy Jr. right, died on August 11
Juan Miguel Vazquez, 39, was murdered in East Oakland and was homeless at the time of his April 21 murder
LaTour was homeless at the time of the shooting, like many of Brownlee’s other victims, and knew he was the man who shot her as soon as police released footage of a man they were hunting in connection with the murder sequence.
Brownlee, who has a criminal history, murdered Juan Miguel Vasquez Serrano, 39, in East Oakland on April 21, just days after attacking LaTour. Serrano was also homeless at the time of his murder.
After the shooting of LaTour and Serrano, the attacks stopped for several months before Paul Yaw was killed on July 8.
Police have linked Brownlee to seven shootings in the Oakland and Stockton area in the past 18 months
Stockton police confirmed to DailyMail.com that they believe the man in the surveillance footage they released earlier this month is the same man who arrested Saturday.
Yaw, 35, was gunned down in a park around 12:30 p.m. as his mother hailed him as “a sweet boy who grew into a man with a big heart.”
Brownlee then shot and killed four people within a two-month period before officers arrested him on Saturday.
Salvador Debudey Jr, 43, died on August 11 after police attempted to resuscitate him.
Jonathan Hernandez Rodriguez, 21, died on August 30 and was found dead in a car and Juan Cruz, 52, died on September 21.
Brownlee’s most recent alleged murder was of Lawrence Lopez Sr, who died on September 27 and was described by his brother as “in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Police released a video earlier this month of a suspect dressed in dark colors walking with an ‘uneven stride’
Jerry Lopez told KXTV, “It’s hard to process that this has happened. I mean, me and my brother have been like twins. We were a part for a year, so we were pretty close’
Five of the killer’s seven victims were Hispanic, but it remains unclear whether they were targeted because of their race.
None of the victims had been robbed or beaten prior to their murder, and no one seemed to know each other, while some lived on the streets.
Police say the murders were not gang-related or drug-related, and they have not revealed a motive, but say they believe the killer was “mission-oriented.”
Stockton Mayor Kevin Lincoln said on Saturday after the arrest that members of the community “should be able to rest a little more tonight.”
He said: ‘I want to make this very clear, to the people of Stockton, the United States and the rest of the world.
“When the people of Stockton come together and we unite, we can get things done. Stockton is going to be a place where people can live, raise a family and grow a business.”