- Macabre details of suspected California serial killer revealed.
- Police say killer appears to be «on a mission».
- «We don’t know what the motive is. What we do believe is that it’s mission-oriented,” authorities said.
A California serial killer appears to be «on a mission» with the fatal shootings of six men and the wounding of one woman in attacks dating back to last year. Ballistics evidence and some video evidence linked the crimes in Stockton and Oakland, about 70 miles (110 kilometers) apart, police said.
«We don’t know what the motive is. What we do believe is that it’s mission-oriented,” Stockton Police Chief Stanley McFadden said Tuesday. «This person is on a mission.» The first fatal shooting was in Oakland in April 2021.
Macabre details of suspected California serial killer revealed
A woman was shot in Stockton days later. More than a year passed, then the five Stockton slayings occurred between July 8 and September 27, all within a radius of a few square miles, police said, according to agency The Associated Press.
Although police did not say whether the seven shootings were linked to the same weapon, McFadden alluded to a single gun during the news conference. “I have absolutely no answer as to why that pistol went dormant for over 400 days” between the April 2021 shootings and the first case this summer, the chief said.
What did the victims have in common?
Authorities announced last week that five men in Stockton were ambushed and shot to death, alone in the dark. On Monday, police said the two additional cases from last year were related to those killings.
A person of interest is wanted in connection with the bloodshed. He appeared on video at several of the crime scenes but there is no evidence directly linking him to the shootings, McFadden said. He said some of the victims were homeless and some were not.
Reward for information that leads to arrest of the suspect
There is a $125,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. Police receive hundreds of tips daily, as well as submitting additional evidence in case other crimes in the state may be related to the series of shootings.
The first murder targeted Juan Vasquez Serrano, 39, in Oakland around 4:15 a.m. on April 10, 2021. He was shot multiple times, according to the Alameda County coroner’s office. It was not immediately clear if he was alone when he was killed.
Hispanics are among the victims
In the non-fatal attack, the 46-year-old woman told investigators that she was inside her store on April 16, 2021 around 3:20 a.m. when she heard someone walking outside. “When she came out of her store, she was met by someone holding a gun,” McFadden said. In the fatal Stockton cases, none of the men were assaulted or beaten before the murders and none appeared to have known each other, Stockton Police Officer Joseph Silva said. The shootings also do not appear to be gang or drug related.
The San Joaquin County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the Stockton victims as Paul Yaw, 35, who died July 8; Salvador Debudey Jr., 43, who died on August 11; Jonathan Hernández Rodríguez, 21, who died on August 30; Juan Cruz, 52, who died on September 21; and Lawrence Lopez Sr., 54, who died on September 27.