A man suspected in a serial killer in California who was arrested “out of office” seeking another victim, police said, has been charged with four more murders, bringing the total to seven, the state said. Officials announced this week.
Shootings in California’s Central Valley in 2021 and 2022 have sparked fear among residents. During the fall, the killer was on the run, but Stockton Police Chief Stanley McFadden told the public that he had “turned his head.”
Police arrested Brownlee on October 15 after following him while driving. He was taken into custody around 2 a.m. armed with a gun, dressed in black and wearing a mask around his neck, McFadden announced his arrest.
“We looked at his pattern and determined early this morning that he was on a killing mission,” McFadden said at a news conference at the time. “He was out hunting.”
Brownlee was initially charged with the murders of Jonathan Hernandez Rodriguez, Juan Cruz and Lawrence Lopez Sr., the Los Angeles Times reported.The crime occurred in Stockton between August and September, police said. .
On Tuesday, the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office filed an amended complaint indicting Brownlee for the murders of Juan Alexander Vazquez and Marvin Harmon of Alameda County and of Paul Yeo and Salvador Debdi Jr. of San Joaquin County. He was also charged with attempted murder in the attack on surviving Natasha Latour, and told police the shooter was wearing black clothes, a dark jacket and a black “covid-style” mask.
District Attorney Tori Berber Salazar said in a statement that authorities were working to “ensure justice for these victims.”
“We would like to thank the community for their support and law enforcement for their diligent investigation and arrest of the suspect,” she added.
Vazquez was fatally shot on April 10, 2021, according to the complaint. Harmon and Latour’s shooting occurred six days after he died. Yeo was killed on July 8, 2022, and Debdi Jr. on August 11, 2022.
According to The Times, some of the victims were homeless and were attacked alone in the middle of the night or early morning.
Authorities said the killings were linked by ballistic and video evidence, and tips from the public helped identify the suspects. The person’s face was not shown in the video. Police said they were looking for a suspect who had cruised by car and was lurking near the park in the dark.
That’s what Brownlee was allegedly doing when he was arrested, The Times reported. Stockton Police spokesman Joseph Silva told the newspaper that when he got out of the car he was driving and saw him approaching a person in a park, investigators identified him as a suspect, after several I watched him for days.
Brownlee is scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday for an additional fee.