Stockton police said there appears to be no connection to a string of 2018 murders in Rogers Park
STOCKTON, Calif. -- Stockton authorities said on Saturday an arrest has been made linked to the six murders in California.
Stockton police chief Stanley McFadden, city manager Harry Black and Mayor Kevin Lincoln made the announcement in a joint press conference regarding the homicide series investigation.
Wesley Brownlee, 43, was arrested around 2 a.m. Saturday, Chief McFadden said.
"Our surveillance team followed this person while he was driving. We watched his patterns and determined early this morning he was on a mission to kill. He was out hunting," Chief McFadden said.
Chief McFadden said Brownlee was stopped as officers made contact with the suspect. Brownlee was wearing dark clothing and had a mask around his neck. The chief said Brownlee was also armed with a firearm when he was taken into custody.
Brownlee will be arraigned on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.
Chicago police were talking with law enforcement officials in California as officials in both states were working to determine if the killer was linked to a string of 2018 murders in Rogers Park based on similarities in surveillance videos from both locations.
However, Stockton police said later Friday there did not appear to be a connection.
Earlier this month, authorities said the California serial killer seems to be "on a mission" throughout the fatal shooting of six men and the wounding of one woman dating back to 2021.
Ballistics tests and video evidence linked the crimes in Stockton and Oakland, about 70 miles (110 kilometers) apart, police said.
The first fatal shooting was in Oakland in April 2021. The woman was wounded in Stockton days later. More than a year passed, then the five killings in Stockton took place between July 8 and Sept. 27, all within a radius of a few square miles, police said.
All of the victims were alone, police said, and the killings happened at night or in the early morning.
"What we seem to have in common is probably complexion -- it has been folks that are different races, but they have a similar complexion," the chief continued. "The location, the environments have been consistent: It's very dark locations, it's locations where there's not very many witnesses around."
"This is a person that lurks in the shadows," McFadden added. "Our victims are being caught by surprise."
This story is developing. Check back for updates.