Serial killing suspect charged with three counts of murder

West

(Photo: Stockton Police Department)

(NewsNation) —  A man suspected of killing six men and hurting a woman in northern California now faces three counts of murder.

Stockton Police Chief Stanley McFadden believes suspect Wesley Brownlee, 43, of Stockton, was looking for his next victim when he was arrested Saturday. Authorities say they stopped Browlee, who was dressed in black with a mask around his neck and armed with a gun, at around 2 a.m. Saturday in Stockton.

McFadden said Brownless “was out hunting.

“We are sure we stopped another killing,” he added.

At a news conference Tuesday, San Joaquin County District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar said Brownlee is charged with three counts of murder. She explained that it is a special circumstance case since he also had the enhancement of being a felon in possession of ammunition and use of a weapon.

“This individual thought he could come to our community and do harm — not in our house,” Salazar said.

Five men were shot to death in Stockton between July 8 and Sept. 27. Police think the same person who is responsible for those homicides is responsible for murdering a man in Oakland in April of last year and then hurting a woman in Stockton around a week later. Stockton police connected the crimes through ballistics evidence.

A motive for the string of killings is unclear, but Salazar expects additional charges to be filed in the case. Salazar said prosecutors are waiting on additional evidence to be processed to get a full visual of the case before amending charges against the suspect.

Media outlets present at Tuesday’s news conference asked Salazar if a ghost gun was used in the homicides. Salazar would not make that determination.

According to officials, Brownlee worked as a truck driver and had recently moved to the Stockton area. He reportedly has family in the area.

Numerous law enforcement agencies helped Stockton police with the investigation, including the FBI. The community also played a major role by providing hundreds of tips during the manhunt.

Salazar said her office wants to make sure the community and families of the victims are supported at this time and have time to heal.

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