2 More Shootings Linked to Possible California Serial Killer


Update: Police say the fatal shooting of a sixth man, who was killed in Oakland, Calif., last year, has been linked to the five fatal shootings in Stockton, Calif., they believe are the work of a serial killer. The non-fatal shooting of a woman in Stockton on April 16, 2021, has also been linked to those six slayings, police say, per the AP. The man who was killed in Oakland was shot six days prior to that. Ballistics tests confirmed the connections, though details of the link between the incidents have not yet been made public. Police have also not ruled out the idea of multiple killers. Our original story from Monday follows:

Since July, five men have been shot dead while walking alone at night or in the early morning in Stockton, Calif. At first, the murders—occurring within a few square miles in the northern part of the city—appeared unrelated. “We have been provided absolutely zero evidence that leads us to believe that one individual is running rampant in the city of Stockton killing people,” Stockton Police Chief Stanley McFadden said Wednesday, per ABC News. Two days later, however, he sang a very different tune. “We have a series of homicides that we believe are interconnected,” McFadden said at a Friday press conference, per SFGate. “By definition, you could probably very well call this serial killings.” Police say physical evidence links the five crime scenes.

McFadden said investigators have ruled out gang violence, drug-related causes, robbery, and hate crimes. Four victims were Hispanic and a fifth was white, per WNYW. Some were homeless. The most recent attack came Tuesday when 54-year-old Lorenzo Lopez was shot just north of downtown before 2am. A 52-year-old was fatally shot around 4:30am on Sept. 21, a 21-year-old was shot around 6:40am on Aug. 30, 43-year-old Salvador William Dudeby Jr. was shot in a parking lot on the evening of Aug. 11, and 35-year-old Paul Alexander Yaw was fatally shot in a park just after midnight on July 8, according to reports. Police are on the lookout for an unidentified “person of interest,” captured on surveillance footage. A released image shows a figure from behind, dressed in dark clothing and what appears to be a beanie.

All of the murders occurred away from surveillance cameras, McFadden said. “Either this person or persons are very lucky with choosing where they’re going, or they’re doing their homework to go to locations where they feel there’s no cameras,” he noted, per the Stockton Record. McFadden said investigators are “working around the clock on these investigations” but need anyone with information to call a tip line at 209-937-8167 or email [email protected]. The city of Stockton is offering a $75,000 reward for information leading to an arrest, while Stockton Crime Stoppers is offering an additional $10,000, per ABC. Meanwhile, police are asking people to avoid walking alone, especially in dark, “isolated” areas. (Read more serial killer stories.)