A possible serial killer is being sought in connection with the fatal shootings of five men in Stockton, California, authorities said.
Detectives have located an unidentified “person of interest” after reviewing surveillance footage of the killings, which occurred between July and late September, Stockton Police Chief Stanley McFadden said Saturday, just days after the most recent homicide.
Police released a grainy still image of a person filmed from behind, dressed all in black and wearing a matching cap.
The latest killing took place on Sept. 27, when a 54-year-old man was gunned down in a residential area north of downtown, McFadden said.
Police said he was the fifth man fatally shot since July 8 within a radius of a few square miles. Detectives believe all five homicides are related “based on our investigation and the reports we are receiving,” McFadden said.
Police said the victims were each walking alone when they were shot in the evening or early morning in the city of 320,000 residents about 50 miles south of Sacramento.
The ages of the victims range from 21 to 54; four of the men were Hispanic and one was white, McFadden said.
Three of the victims have been identified at Paul Yaw, 35; Salvador Dubedy Jr., 43, and Lorenzo Lopez, 54.
Yaw’s mother, Greta Bogrow, described her son to the station KCRA as “a great man with a big heart.” She said he was homeless at the time of his death on July 8.
Dubedy was in a parking lot in the 4900 block of West Lane on the night of Aug. 11 when he was shot and pronounced dead at the scene, leaving behind his wife and daughter.
“It’s caused a lot of pain, a lot of pain to our family,” said Dubedy’s widow, Analydia Lopez.
Shortly before 2 a.m. on Sept. 27, Lopez was in the 900 block of Porter Avenue when he was shot and killed.
“My mother and father were just heartbroken from this,” said Jerry Lopez, Lopez’s brother. “That’s their first baby boy.”
Chief McFadden wrote on Facebook that his department is committed to protecting the community and solving the killings “utilizing all the resources at our disposal including YOU. We need YOUR help!!!!”
“If anyone, has information regarding these investigations, call us immediately. Please remember our victims have grieving family members who need resolution. If you know something, say something,” the chief’s plea continued.
The city of Stockton put up a $75,000 reward for information leading to a suspect’s arrest, and Stockton Crime Stoppers offered an additional $10,000.
McFarland concluded by reminding the public to “remain vigilant and have good situational awareness,” avoid isolated areas and walk with a friend in well-lit streets.