STOCKTON, California — Authorities say that a man suspected of killing more than one person in Northern California has been charged in four more killings this week. That makes a total of seven deaths since April 2021.
Wesley Brownlee was charged with murder again by the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office. He was arrested in October in Stockton, California when police said he was “out hunting” for another possible victim.
Stockton, in the Central Valley, was scared by the shootings earlier this year. Police were looking for a man in black who seemed to be “on a mission” as he looked for people to shoot from ambush. He was also linked to violence in Alameda County.
Authorities had already told the public about three of the four killings listed in court documents on Tuesday. At the time, they said they had linked Brownlee to the deaths of six men and the injury of a woman, but no charges had been filed.
The fourth case, which happened in April 2021 and was reported on Tuesday, brings the total number of killings to seven.
According to The Stockton Record, which is part of the USA TODAY Network, District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar said, “The San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office continues to work with our local law enforcement agencies to make sure these victims get justice.” “We’d like to thank the community for their help and law enforcement for working hard to find the suspect and catch him.”
At first, Brownlee was only charged in the deaths of three people in Stockton: Jonathan Rodriguez Hernandez, who was 21 years old and died on August 30; Juan Cruz, who was 52 and died on September 21; and Lawrence Lopez Sr., who was 54 and died on September 27.
Brownlee is accused of killing Paul Yaw, 35, and Salvador Debudey Jr., 43, both of Stockton, as well as Juan Vasquez Serrano, 39, and Mervin Harmon, both of Alameda County. The new complaint was filed on Tuesday.
He is also charged with trying to kill Natasha LaTour, 46, in April 2021, when he shot her.
Harmon had not been linked to Brownlee’s string of shootings in the past. More information about Harmon’s death was not available right away.
As a drug offender, Brownlee was not allowed to own a gun, and police said that at least some of the killings were done with an unregistered “ghost gun.” He was arrested in October.
The California corrections department said that Brownlee was sentenced to two years in prison in January 1999 for having and selling a controlled substance in Alameda County, which is where the city of Oakland is. After seven months in prison, he was given parole in August 1999.
In December 2001, Brownlee was found guilty of the same crime again in Alameda County and given a three-year sentence. He got out of jail in May 2003 and was released from prison three years later.