Police Have Caught the Suspected Serial Killer Terrorizing Stockton California

Saturday morning police arrest the man they believe responsible for a recent string of killings dating all the way back from April last year and spanning through Oakland and Stockton California. The man was forty-three-year-old Wesley Brownlee. Brownlee had prior drug convictions and was imprisoned in 2003 for transporting and intending to distribute controlled substances. At this time Brownlee is still a person of interest and has not been convicted of any charges. He is presumed innocent until proven otherwise. 

Brownlee is suspected to have killed five men and attempted to kill one woman, Natasha LaTour, who has been the only survivor. Police linked the crimes through ballistic evidence and established patterns between each murder. They believe Brownlee has been targeting unaccompanied men and shooting them multiple times before fleeing. The victims have been focused on the Oakland and Stockton area. The men do not appear to be robbed and despite Brownlee’s drug convictions the murders have not been connected to drugs.

Beginning in April, 2021 the first victim was shot in Oakland California. Even though Brownlee resided in Stockton he has relatives in the Oakland area who police believed he had visited prior to the shootings. The man was Juan Varquez, 39. Juan was walking alone at night before he was shot multiple times. About a week later on April 16, a woman named Natasha LaTour was shot outside of her tent around 2 am. 

Natasha told police that when she originally reported the shooting the police failed at pursuing the case. In an article with Fox News she talked about her experience with the police. 

“Ever since I got out of the hospital, it was constantly me trying to reach them.” She talked about how she didn’t know if they believed her but “what I do know and what’s been very apparent is that they just didn’t care.” 

The Stockton killings occurred in the summer and have been centered around men ages 21-52. The men have all been of Hispanic descent however the police have not confirmed if the killings are racially motivated. 

The Stockton victims were Paul yaw 35; Salvador Debudey Jr., 43; Jonathan Hernandez Rodriguez, 21; Juan Cruz, 52; and Lorenzo Lopez, 52. 

The victims were from the Stockton area and were killed over a year after the first two shootings. After April 16th 2021, the shooting of Natasha LoTour, and up until July 8 2022, the first murder in Stockton, the killer remained dormant. 

Before Brownlee was caught, police had suspected the killer to believe that he was on a mission. 

“We don’t know what the motive is. What we do believe is that it’s mission-oriented” the Stockton police chief, Stanley McFadden, said. “This person is on a mission.” 

The police were able to locate Brownlee through surveillance where they believed he went out every Saturday on a “hunting mission”. When caught he was found wearing dark clothing and a mask matching the description shared by surveillance and witnesses. He was armed when police took him into custody but, at the time of writing this, police have not confirmed whether that gun taken into evidence by police was used in the shootings.