Prosecutors on Tuesday charged a Northern California man with fatally shooting three people who police said were among six killed by a serial killer in the past 18 months.
Wesley Brownlee, 43,In connection with a series of shootings that took place in April 2021 in which six men were killed and one woman was injured. Police were monitoring him early Saturday as he was walking through the streets of Stockton, armed with a handgun and possibly “hunting outside” for another victim.
The San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office on Tuesday filed three counts of murder, one count of felony possession of a firearm and one count of possession of ammunition. He is currently charged with only the three most recent murders in Stockton.
At a news briefing Tuesday afternoon, San Joaquin County District Attorney Tory Werber Salazar confirmed that all seven shootings have been linked to ballistics, but the investigation is still in its early stages.
“We are waiting for additional evidence to be processed, which will most likely, we believe, allow us to add to those additional charges,” Salazar said.
Brownlee is a truck driver who moved to Stockton last summer, Salazar said, adding, “He has some family in the community, not much.”
Stockton Police Chief Stanley McFadden did not say Tuesday whether police believed the gun found when Brownlee was arrested was used in any of the shootings.
Nothing is yet known about the possible motive for the murders.
This year in Stockton was Paul Yew, 35, who died on July 8; Salvador Debude Jr., 43, who died on August 11; Jonathan Hernandez Rodriguez, 21, who died August 30; Juan Cruz, 52, who died on 21 September; and Lawrence Lopez Sr., 54, who died on September 27.
Juan Vasquez Serrano, 39, was murdered in Oakland on April 10, 2021.
Natasha Latour, 46, was shot in Stockton on April 16, 2021, but survived.
The criminal complaint filed on Tuesday lists only the charges for the murders of Rodriguez, Cruz and Lopez.
According to The East Bay Times, Brownlee has a criminal history that includes traffic violations and convictions for drug offenses that goes all the way back to his arrest at the age of 15. He was recently released from parole in 2006.
It was not immediately known whether Brownlee has an attorney who could comment on her behalf. He is being kept in jail without bail.