STOCKTON, Calif. (AP) — A man suspected of killing six men and wounding a woman in Northern California was arrested before dawn Saturday as he was apparently searching for another victim, police said.
Acting on tips and police work, investigators tracked and watched a man and stopped him in a car at about 2 a.m. in Stockton, where five of the shootings took place, Police Chief Stanley McFadden said at a news conference.
Wesley Brownlee, 43, of Stockton, was dressed in black, had a mask around his neck, had a gun and “was out hunting,” McFadden said.
“We are sure we stopped another killing,” he added.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether Brownlee had an attorney to speak on his behalf.
Police had been searching for a man clad in black who was caught on video at several of the crime scenes in Stockton, where five men were ambushed and shot to death between July 8 and Sept. 27. Four were walking, and one was in a parked car.
Police believe the same person was responsible for killing a man 70 miles away in Oakland in April 2021 and wounding a homeless woman in Stockton a week later.
Investigators have said ballistics tests and video evidence linked the crimes.
Authorities said they received hundreds of tips after announcing the manhunt.
No suspected motive for the attacks was given, but McFadden said the killer appeared to be “on a mission.” Police said some victims were homeless, but not all. None were beaten or robbed, and the woman who survived said her attacker didn’t say anything.
The FBI and various police agencies, including in Chicago, helped in the investigation, McFadden said.
The Associated Press