A man suspected of killing six in a series of murders in California has been arrested by police as he “searches” for his next victim.
Wesley Brownlee, who was driving in the city of Stockton, where five murders have occurred, armed with a handgun, was stopped by police early Sunday morning.
Investigators have been tracking the 43-year-old man after being tipped off by the public.
“Based on tips coming into the department and the Stockton Crime Stoppers, we were able to zero in on possible suspects,” Police Chief Stanley McFadden said.
“Our surveillance team followed the man as he drove. We observed his patterns and determined that, early this morning, his mission was to kill.”
Mr McFadden added that Brownlee was detained after engaging in what appeared to be threatening behaviour, including going to parks and dark places, stopping to look around before driving.
The police chief said he was dressed in black, with a mask around his neck and a gun, “out hunting.”
A police photo shows what appears to be a semi-automatic pistol containing some non-metallic material as the weapon allegedly carried by the suspect.
Brownlee is accused of shooting six men and wounding a woman during an 18-month killing spree in the Stockton and Oakland areas.
Who are the victims?
Juan Vasquez Serrano, 39, was the first victim to be killed in Oakland on April 10, 2021.
Just six days later, Natasha Latour, 46, was shot dead in Stockton but managed to survive after walking towards the attackers to scare them off.
More than a year later, the killer struck again, killing Paul Yaw, 35, on July 8, then Salvador Debudey on August 11, and Jonathan Hernandez Rodriguez, 21, and Juan Cruz, 52, on August 30. 21st.
The most recent victim was Lawrence Lopez, 54, who died on September 27.
Police believe the same individual was responsible for all the shootings, with ballistic testing and video evidence linking the crimes.
A reward of $125,000 (£109,000) for information leading to an arrest.
Brownlee has a criminal record and is believed to live in several cities near Stockton, police said, but they gave no further details.
Investigators have been trying to determine a motive for the attack, but none of the victims appeared to have little in common.
Some victims are homeless, but not all. No one was beaten or robbed, and the surviving woman said her attacker said nothing.