STOCKTON, Calif. (KTXL) — Weeks after Stockton Police first announced they were investigating “samples” in a spate of murders in the city, the police chief and other city and police officials announced Saturday afternoon to arrest suspect in connection with crime.
The suspect was identified at a press conference like 43-year-old Wesley Brownlee, who was arrested for “following patterns that were consistent with what we were seeing,” Chief Stanley McFadden said.
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Law enforcement agencies from across California and the country are investigating five fatal shootings which took place in Stockton between July and September of this year. All five of them victims they were men between the ages of 21 and 54.
Police later said the cases were related to two shootings that occurred in April 2021. one in Oakland and one in Stockton. A 40-year-old man was killed in Oakland and a 46-year-old woman was shot in Stockton and survived.
The unsolved shootings have unsettled Stockton and nearby communities, leading many residents to wonder who could commit such crimes.
At a press conference, McFadden said that when he was arrested, the suspect “was mobile, looking around and moving again. We thought, for the safety of the public, it was time to take him into custody.”
When and where was the suspect arrested?
The police chief said the arrest happened near Village Green Drive and Winslow (Way), in North Stockton, around 2 a.m. on Oct. 15.
At the time of his arrest, the suspect was wearing “dark clothing and a mask around his neck,” McFadden said, adding that the suspect possessed firearms.
What was the suspect doing when he was arrested?
The suspect was moving around the city of Stockton at the time of the arrest, McFadden said.
At a press conference, McFadden described the suspect’s early-morning actions as a “hunt” and at one point said he was “on a mission to kill.”
The suspect was followed by a surveillance team while he was “moving” in the vehicle, but no details about the vehicle were released.
How did investigators find the suspect?
The police chief said the arrest happened in two parts, community tips and “old-fashioned police work.”
Officials activated a QR code and special website for the public to submit photos and videos that could help the case.
McFadden said that based on a tip from Stockton Crime Stoppers, the surveillance team was able to locate the suspect’s residence.
Officials did not reveal the location of the apartment, but said it was “not far from one of the murders” and that a special task force searched the apartment Saturday morning.
What do investigators know about the suspect?
Chief McFadden said at a news conference that the suspect “has a criminal history” and that the suspect is believed to have “lived in various towns outside of Stockton.”
“I know he has a criminal history, but not to the extent that he knew about the crimes,” McFadden said.
At the beginning of October, the police posted video surveillance persons of interest in the case. At the time, McFadden said the person had two distinguishing characteristics – an uneven gait and an upright posture.
What happens next in the case?
“Just because an arrest is made doesn’t mean the investigation stops,” McFadden said.
He added, “we still need more tips (sent) to our investigators.”
At a news conference, San Joaquin County District AttorneyTori Verber Salazar spoke briefly, saying that the suspect will have a hearing on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m., where the first charges against him will be announced.
“We will most likely file more charges,” Verber Salazar said.