STOCKTON, Calif. (KTXL) — Days after Stockton Police said they noticed “patterns” in killings over the summer, the investigation unfolded into seven separate shootings dating back to 2021 and one other city.

The investigation into the serial killings was announced on Sept. 28 by Stockton Police. In the announcement, they said 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 noted the victims were either walking or in their car when the killings happened.

They also mentioned a multi-agency task force was being put together. The task force was going to further look into the “patterns” detectives noticed.

In that Sept. 28 release, police first mentioned they had no evidence as to whether it was a single person or more than one responsible for the killings. 

September 30

At a press conference on Sept. 30, police released information on the five killings in 2022 they initially mentioned:

  • July 8: 5600 block of Kermit Lane, near Elaine and East Robinhood drives, around 12:30 a.m.
  • Aug. 11: 4900 block of West Lane, near Bianchi Road, around 9:39 p.m.
  • Aug. 30: 800 block of East Hammer Lane, near Shamrock and Tam O’Shanter drives, around 6:40 a.m.
  • Sept. 21: 4400 block of Manchester Avenue, near Rosemarie Lane, around 4:30 a.m.
  • Sept. 27: 900 block of Porter Avenue, near Gettysburg Place, around 1:51 a.m.

They also informed the public they had a person of interest and shared a photo of them. According to police, they identified the person of interest after scrubbing through hundreds of hours of video.

A person of interest in Stockton Police’s investigation. (Photo from Stockton Police)

Stockton Police Chief Stanley McFadden, during the conference, said the person of interest could either be a witness or a suspect.

He also said that despite all the hours of footage, no crime or even someone with a gun has been captured on video. Coupled with the lack of witnesses due to the time and location of the killings, he again emphasized they do not know if one person or more than one is behind the serial killings. 

October 3

The Supervising Medical Examiner Investigator for San Joaquin County confirmed to FOX40 News on Oct. 3 the names of the first five victims identified: Paul Yaw, Salvador Debudey, Jonathan Hernandez Rodriguez, Juan Cruz and Lawrence Lopez Sr.

According to police, four of those five men are Hispanic. One of them is a white male. Although police have released the race of the victims, McFadden said there is no evidence the killings are hate-crime related. 

McFadden said there is no indication the shootings are related to gang violence either.

On the night of Oct. 3, Stockton Police announced there were two other shootings linked to the serial killings that occurred over the summer. According to police, the shootings happened on April 10, 2021, and April 16, 2021.

The shooting on April 10, 2021, took place in Oakland on Harmon Avenue at 4:18 a.m. an Alameda County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson told FOX40-affiliate KRON4. The one six days later happened in Stockton near Park and Union streets around 3:20 a.m.

October 4

According to KRON4, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office identified the Oakland victim on Oct. 4 as Juan Miguel Vasquez Serrano, 39, of Oakland.

In an Oct. 4 press conference held by Stockton Police, they said the April 16, 2021, shooting victim survived. 

McFadden said they talked to the surviving victim, who they identified as a Black woman. According to McFadden, the woman said she heard noises outside of her tent. She went to look outside and was met by someone with a gun. 

The person then shot and injured her. She described the person as being between 5 feet, 10 inches and 6 feet tall. According to police, the shooter was wearing all dark clothing, a dark COVID-19-style mask and a dark jacket.

Police said they tied the shootings through ballistic evidence. And they described the large gap between the April 2021 shootings and the one on July 8, 2022, as the “pistol (going) dormant.” 

McFadden said they don’t know why there is a large gap between the shootings, only that the recent shootings are more frequent. There were six days between the April 10 and 16 shootings in 2021 and then 448 days until the one on July 8. There were 34 days until the next shooting on Aug. 11, then 19 days, 22 days, and six days later on Sept. 27, which is the most recent.

Additional information noted at the press conference was that the average age of the victims was 42, and they were mostly male and Hispanic.

McFadden described the killings as fluid and intentional. 

“We’ve had male and female victims, different races, people with and without homes, so we don’t know who is being targeted,” McFadden said. 

As for the multi-agency task force, police said they met with those at the state and federal levels, and tasks and responsibilities were assigned.

Surveillance video released

Police also released surveillance video of the person of interest. Before showing the video, McFadden wanted viewers to note two distinguishing characteristics of the person — their uneven stride and upright posture. He added the person was seen near where some of the shootings occurred.

Police ask anyone who lives near where the shootings happened to check their doorbell and security cameras for potential information. Stockton Police ask any surveillance video be submitted to stocktonpdca.evidence.com/axon/citizen/public/tips2022

Reward offered

There is an active reward of $125,000 for information leading to an arrest.

A tip line was created for anyone with information. The number is 209-937-8167. Information can also be emailed to policetips@stocktonca.gov.