A potential serial killer may be on the loose in central California, according to local police who are investigating six shooting deaths that appear to be connected. All of the men who died were ambushed alone in the dark and police are baffled as to why they were targeted.
None of the men were robbed or beaten before their killings and none appear to have known each other, Stockton police officer Joseph Silva said on Monday. The shootings don’t seem to be related to gangs or drugs, either.
“It definitely meets the definition of a serial killer,” Silva said. “What makes this different is the shooter is just looking for an opportunity and unfortunately our victims were alone in a dark area.”
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Five of the shooting deaths occurred between the months of July and September 2022 in Stockton. At first, police believed these were the only incidents in connection with the potential serial killer until their investigation turned up two similar shootings in 2021, including one in which the victim survived.
The San Joaquin County medical examiner’s office released the names of some of the victims on Monday: Paul Alexander Yaw, 35, who died on July 8 at 12:31 a.m.; Salvador Debudey Jr., 43, who died on Aug. 11 at 9:49 p.m.; Jonathan Hernandez Rodriguez, 21, who died on Aug. 30 at 6:41 a.m.; Juan Cruz, 52, who died on Sept. 21 at 4:27 a.m.; and Lawrence Lopez Sr., 54, who died on Sept. 27 at 1:53 a.m.
These five victims were all killed in Stockton within a radius of a few square miles.
The sixth potential death that police are looking into occurred on April 10, 2021 in the nearby city of Oakland. Authorities have not released the name of the
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