BREAKING NEWS: Suspected serial killer, 43, is arrested while ‘out hunting for new victims’ as cops believe he could be behind a string of shocking execution-style murders in California
- The California killer has been linked with seven deaths since 2021
- Whitaker, 43, was taken into custody at around 2.00am Saturday morning while authorities say he was out looking for his next kill
- Five of the seven victims have been Hispanic, though police say it is unclear if the killer was motivated by race
- The Stockton Police confirmed to the Daily Mail that they believe the man they arrested is the same individual in surveillance footage released days ago
- The mayor of Stockton says families in the community should be able to ‘rest a little bit easier tonight’
Police in California say they have caught a suspected serial killer responsible for a handful of murders that have haunted the Stockton and Oakland areas.
Authorities say they apprehended the suspect, identified as Wesley Brownlee, 43, just as he was about to claim another life.
Stockton Police Chief Stanley McFadden said on Saturday, ‘Early this morning he was on a mission to kill, he was out hunting.’
‘He was wearing dark clothing and had a mask around his neck. He was also armed with a firearm when he was taken into custody. We are sure we stopped another killing,’ he continued.’
Brownlee is suspected to have been terrorizing the community for more than a year.
Wesley Brownlee, 43, was arrested early Saturday morning by Stockton law enforcement. He is suspect of killing at least seven people in the last 18 months
Police say Brownlee was out hunting for a new victim when he was apprehended early Saturday. His alleged victims were all shot to death
His first suspected killing occurred last April 21, and his most recent ‘hunt’ took place less than one month prior to his arrest.
He is now in custody and is scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday afternoon.
McFadden said his officers were able to make a breakthrough in the case because of ‘community tips’ and ‘good old fashioned police work.’
Authorities have so far been able to connect six gun deaths in California cities to a single murderer since the beginning of 2021.
Law enforcement authorities described Brownlee’s killing spree as a ‘reign of terror.’ Just one of his alleged victims survived being shot.
Earlier this month, police released footage of a man they believed to be the Stockton serial killer.
On Saturday, the Stockton police department confirmed to the Daily Mail that they believe the individual in the surveillance footage is the same person who appeared in the video.
Stockton Police Chief Stanley McFadden speaks during a news conference at the Stockton Police Department headquarters about the arrest of suspect Wesley Brownlee in a series of killings in Stockton, Calif., Saturday, Oct. 15, 202
Police have linked Brownlee to seven killings in the Oakland and Stockton area inside of the last 18 months
The first of his victims was 39-year-old Miguel Vasquez Serrano, who died in East Oakland last April.
The next victim was not killed until this summer in early July.
Paul Yaw, 35, died on July 8; Salvador Debudey Jr., 43, died on August 11; Jonathan Hernandez Rodriguez, 21, died on August 30; and Juan Cruz, 52, died on September 21.
His most recent alleged kill was of Lawrence Lopez Sr., who died on September 27.
Five of the killer’s seven victims have been Hispanic, though it remains unclear if they were targeted because of their race. Some of the victims were homeless, while others were not.
None of the victims were robbed or beaten prior to their killings, and none appeared to know one another.
Furthermore, according to police, the killings did not appear to be gang or drug related.
Police do not yet know the motive but say they believe the killer is ‘mission oriented.’
Stockton Mayor Kevin Lincoln said Saturday following the arrest that members of the community should be able to ‘rest a little bit easier tonight.’
‘I want to make this very very clear, to the people of Stockton, to the United States and around the world. When the people of Stockton come together and we unite we can get things done. Stockton will be a place where people can live, raise a family and grow a business,’ he said.