Suspected Serial Killer Charged with 4 More Murders

Wesley Brownlee was arrested in October
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 16, 2022 5:37 AM CDT
Updated Dec 28, 2022 2:12 PM CST
Suspected Serial Killer Arrested in Stockton
Wesley Brownlee stands with public defender Allison Nobert during his arraignment in San Joaquin County Superior Court on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022.   (Hector Amezcua/The Sacramento Bee via AP,File)/The Sacramento Bee via AP, File)
UPDATE Dec 28, 2022 2:12 PM CST

A man who police say was "on a mission to kill" and "was out hunting" when he was arrested in October has been hit with additional charges. Wesley Brownlee, 43, had already been charged with three counts of first-degree murder in connection with killings that occurred in Stockton, California. On Tuesday, CNN reports he was charged with four more counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder in connection with a woman who was shot and survived; all seven murder victims were men. The AP reports one of the four newly announced murder charges is in connection with a killing that police had not publicly linked to Brownlee until now.

Oct 16, 2022 5:37 AM CDT

Police in Stockton, California, think they've caught their serial killer. What's more, they say they arrested the suspect late at night while he was hunting another victim. Officers arrested Wesley Brownlee, 43, about 2am Saturday in Stockton, his home city, reports the AP. “Our surveillance team followed this person while he was driving,” said Police Chief Stanley McFadden, per the New York Times. “We watched his patterns and determined early this morning he was on a mission to kill. He was out hunting.”

Brownlee is suspected of killing six men and wounding a woman in a string of shootings in Northern California. Police did not speculate about a motive. McFadden said tips from the public helped identify Brownlee as a suspect, though it was not immediately clear if anyone would be receiving a reward that had grown to $125,000. When police arrested Brownlee, he was clad in dark clothing, had a mask around his neck, and was carrying what appeared to be a semi-automatic handgun.

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“We are sure we stopped another killing," said the police chief. Authorities say they believe the killer drove around the city late at night looking for victims, then get out on foot to carry out the shootings. Five of the men were killed in Stockton, most of them while walking, and the sixth was killed in Oakland about 70 miles away. The woman, who is homeless, was wounded in Stockton. NBC News notes that most of the victims were Hispanic, but police have not called the shootings race-related. (Read more serial killers stories.)

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