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After linking five men’s murders to a potential serial killer, police in California say the individual might be responsible for two additional attacks from last year.
On Friday, Sept. 30, the Stockton Police Department appealed to the public for help identifying a potential serial killer believed to have fatally shot five men since July. Police Chief Stanley McFadden continues to keep the community apprised as promised, announcing on Monday that they’ve linked two additional attacks to the suspect’s tally.
“While detectives continue to follow up on this series, detectives can confirm the following two additional cases are linked,” said police.
The first of these cases includes the April 10, 2021, murder of a 40-year-old Hispanic male whose name was not disclosed. Police say the victim was shot to death at around 4:18 a.m., making him the first-known victim of the suspect.
Unlike the others, the victim was killed in Oakland, Calif., about 70 miles east of Stockton.
Police say they’ve also connected the suspect to the April 16, 2021 shooting of a 46-year-old Black woman who survived the attack. The woman, whose name was not released, was shot at around 3:20 a.m. at Park Street and Union Street in Stockton — just a few miles south of where the five previously-known victims were killed in a cluster on the city’s north side.
The five previously known victims have now been identified as Paul Yaw, 35, killed on July 8; Salvador William Debudey Jr., 43, killed on Aug. 11; Jonathan Hernandez Rodriguez, 21, killed on Aug. 30; Juan Cruz, 52, killed on Sept. 21; and Lorenzo Lopez Sr., 54, killed on Sept. 27, according to ABC News.
The five men were all ambushed under cover of night while alone in poorly-lit areas. All were shot to death between July and September of 2022.
On Friday, Sept. 30, Stockton Police Chief Stanley McFadden released a statement, along with a photo of a dark-clothed individual captured on a surveillance camera believed to be the murder suspect. McFadden warned residents to “remain vigilant” and have “good situational awareness” while walking around the city.
“Our detectives and task force officers have been working around the clock on these investigations,” McFadden stated.
So far, investigators are stumped about a possible motive in the case, revealing they’d already ruled out drug- and gang-related theories. Although five of the seven victims are Hispanic, police also don’t believe the killer is motivated by race, ruling out the possibility of a hate crime.
“This is very, very concerning,” Stockton Mayor Kevin Lincoln told CNN on Tuesday, Sept. 4. “We don’t know if there’s one individual or a series of individuals that are responsible for these homicides."
A previous reward of $85,000 for information leading to the suspect’s arrest has now risen to $95,000, according to Monday’s release by police.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Stockton Police Department at their new tip line at 1-209-937-8167 or e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tipsters can also submit anonymous information to Stockton Crime Stoppers at 1-209-946-0600.
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