STOCKTON, Calif. (NewsNation) — A “series of killings” over the past several months appear to be connected, according to a California police department.
Officials are searching for an unidentified “person of interest” tied to the five murders, the first of which occurred in July in Stockton, California.
Stockton Police Chief Stanley McFadden said they believe the person of interest can shed some light on at least one of the killings. He emphasized, however, the person of interest could be a witness or a suspect.
McFadden said investigators identified the person after scrubbing through hundreds of hours of video. He also said that despite all the hours of footage no crime or even a gun has been captured on video.
Coupled with the lack of witnesses due to the time and location of the killings, police said they do not know if one person or more than one is behind the “series of killings.”
McFadden said all of the murders happened when the victims were alone during the night or early morning and walking or in their cars.
Though there is little information, McFadden said there is no indication the killings are related to gang violence.
Officials said that four of the five men who were shot and killed were Hispanic — the first victim was a white male. The five killings they are looking into stretch back to early July.
July 8: 5600 block of Kermit Lane around 12:30 a.m.
Aug. 11: 4900 block of West Lane around 9:39 p.m.
Aug. 30: 800 block of East Hammer Lane around 6:40 a.m.
Sept. 21: 4400 block of Manchester Avenue around 4:30 a.m.
Sept. 27: 900 block Porter Avenue around 1:51 a.m.
Police on Wednesday said they were assembling a multi-agency task force that will be taking a very close look at some of the “patterns” they are seeing.
Police ask anyone who lives near those areas to check their doorbell and security cameras for potential information. A reward of $75,000 was also issued by the city for information leading to an arrest. Stockton Crime Stoppers issued an additional $10,000 reward.
A tip line was created for anyone with information. The number is 209-937-8167. Information can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Stockton Police ask any surveillance video be submitted to stocktonpdca.evidence.com/axon/citizen/public/tips2022.
McFadden wants residents to be extremely aware of where they are and of any people around them at night or in the early morning. He also advised residents to stay in well-lit areas.
On Wednesday a town hall meeting will be held for community members to come to voice their concerns to police and other city officials.
NewsNation affiliate KTXL contributed to this report.