STOCKTON, Calif. (KTXL) — The circumstances of some recent killings in Stockton prompted police to form a multi-agency task force to investigate, Stockton Police said.

On Wednesday, Stockton Police said detectives have investigated 43 homicides so far this year. It’s 11 more killings than in 2021 at the same time.

According to police, detectives noticed — in some recent homicides — that the victims were alone either during the night or early morning when they were shot and killed. Police also said the victims were either walking or in their car when the killings happened.

“We are currently assembling a team of detectives, task force officers (federal, state, and county), crime analysts, camera room operators, and evidence technicians who will be taking a very close look at some of these patterns we are seeing,” police said.

Police said they do not know if one person or multiple people are committing the killings.

Stockton Police Chief Stanley McFadden reinforced that on Wednesday when he said police “have no information that there’s a serial killer.” McFadden, however, also said they “haven’t ruled out anything yet.”

“I know that’s put a lot of folks on edge, hearing that out there. And I’m just here to say that we have no evidence of that. We are seeing some patterns and similarities in some of our more recent homicides, where we’re taking a closer look at. We don’t know if it’s one person, or if its five or six people. We just don’t have that information right now,” McFadden said.

Police would like to remind people to remain vigilant and be aware of their surroundings. They also ask the public to avoid isolated areas and travel in well-lit areas.

Anyone with information is asked to call the police at 209-937-8377 or the Investigations Division at 209-937-8323.