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Ballistics Tests Link Seven California Shootings in Possible Serial Killer Case

Ballistics tests have now linked at least six fatal and one nonfatal shootings in California, authorities said, all possibly by a serial killer.

Authorities will provide an update on the investigation into the murders on Tuesday afternoon.

Authorities announced last week that five men in the northern California town of Stockton had been ambushed and shot dead alone in the dark in recent months. Late Monday, police said two more cases, the death of a man in Oakland and the non-fatal shooting of a woman in Stockton, were linked to those murders last year.

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“It definitely fits the definition of a serial killer,” said Stockton Police Officer Joseph Silva. “What makes this different is that the shooter is just looking for an opportunity, and unfortunately our victims were alone in a dark environment.”

Police have not said whether all seven shootings were associated with the same weapon.

All of the fatal Stockton cases occurred within a few square miles between July 8 and September 27. None of the victims were robbed or beaten for the murders, and no one seemed to know each other, Silva said. Also, the shootings do not appear to be gang-related or drug-related.

The other crime in Stockton, in which a 46-year-old woman was shot but survived, took place on April 16, 2021, at around 3:20 a.m., police said. The woman was also alone at the time.

The death of a man in Oakland around 4:15 a.m. on April 10, 2021 has also been linked to the violence in Stockton, police said. Juan Vasquez Serrano, 39, was shot multiple times, according to the Alameda County coroner. It was not immediately clear whether the man was also alone when he was murdered.

The City of Stockton, Stockton Crime Stoppers and a local construction company owner offered a total of $95,000 for information leading to an arrest.

Police have released a grainy still image of a “person of interest”, dressed all in black and wearing a black cap, who appeared in videos of several crime scenes involving murder in Stockton.

The medical examiner’s office in San Joaquin identified the Stockton victims Monday as Paul Yaw, 35, who was murdered on July 8; Salvador Debudey Jr, 43, died Aug. 11; Jonathan Hernandez Rodriguez, 21, died August 30; Juan Cruz, 52, who was murdered on Sept. 21; and Lawrence Lopez Sr, 54.

Lopez was shot shortly before 2 a.m. on Sept. 27 in a residential area just north of downtown.

He “was just someone who was here in the wrong place, at the wrong time, in the wrong circumstances,” his brother, Jerry Lopez, told KXTV-TV. “It’s hard to process that this happened.”

Several people may even be involved in the violence.

“To be honest, we just don’t know,” Silva said. “This person or people who are doing this are definitely very cheeky and cheeky.”

Police said four of the Stockton victims were walking alone and a fifth was in a parked car when they were killed in the evening or early morning in the city of 320,000, about 50 miles south of the state capital. , Sacramento.