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Suspected California serial killer arrested while on 'a mission to kill'

Police have not yet found a motive for the killings, but they believe it was intentional

October 17, 2022 4:00am

Updated: October 17, 2022 4:11pm

A suspected serial killer accused of murdering at least six people and wounding another in California was arrested on Saturday, police announced. 

The suspect, identified as Wesley Brownlee, 43, was arrested while he was armed and on a “mission to kill” another victim, said Stockton Police Department Chief Stanley McFadden. 

During a press conference, Stockton police said that a tip helped officers identify Brownlee and brought them to his residence, where they pursued a stakeout mission. 

Police were tailing Brownlee and watching his “patterns” on Saturday when they determined that “he was on a mission to kill” and was “out hunting” for another victim. 

“Based on tips coming into the department and Stockton Crime Stoppers, we were able to zero in on a possible suspect,” McFadden said. “Our surveillance team followed this person while he was driving. We watched his patterns and determined early this morning he was on a mission to kill.”

Police intercepted Brownlee at around 2 a.m. and found him armed, McFadden added. 

"We are sure we stopped another killing," McFadden said.

Brownlee is suspected of having killed at least six people since April of last year. Police have not yet found a motive for the killings, but they believe it was intentional. 

The first murder took place on July 8, when the suspect killed Paul Yaw, 35, at around 12:31 a.m. near the 5600 block of Kermit Kane, according to police. On August 11, 43-year-old Salvador Debudey Jr. was killed at around 9:49 p.m. near the 4900 block of West Lane. On August 30, Jonathan Hernandez Rodriguez, 21, was shot at around 6:40 a.m. in the 800 block of East Hammer Lane. In late September, the body of Juan Cruz, 52, was discovered at around 4:27 a.m. on the 4400 block of Manchester Avenue. The latest victim was identified as Lawrence Lopez Sr., 54, who was fatally shot at around 1:53 a.m. on Tuesday near the 900 block of Porter Avenue. 

Brownlee is also suspected of shooting a 46-year-old woman at Park Street and Union Street in Stockton on April 16, 2021. 

The suspect will be arraigned on Tuesday afternoon at 1:30 p.m., according to police.