Five men have been killed in a series of late-night shootings in Stockton, California, and police are seeking a person of interest.
Stockton Police Chief Stanley McFadden said Friday that investigators believe the fatal shootings are related — all of them took place at night, in poorly lit areas. Police at this time don’t believe the killings are connected to gang activity or that they’re hate crimes, and it’s unclear what the motive may be. The victims ranged in age from 21 to 54, and most of them were Latino, but not all.
Surveillance video has led police to identify a person of interest, but it’s not clear what connection they might have to the killings or to a suspect, McFadden said.
“We have no video footage that has even captured a crime,” he said. “We don’t know if it’s a person, two, or three.”
On Wednesday, local media reported that police had put together a special investigations team for the shootings. The city is putting up a $75,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest. Stockton Crime Stoppers has also announced an additional $10,000 cash reward.
“As this investigation moves forward, I will provide timely and verified information to you keeping in mind public safety and the needs of the investigation,” McFadden wrote in a statement on Facebook on Saturday.
According to police:
- On July 8, a 35-year-old white man was shot and killed at 12:31 a.m. near a park.
- On Aug. 11, a 43-year-old Latino man was shot at 9:49 p.m. near a local medical clinic.
- On Aug. 30, a 21-year-old Latino man was shot at 6:41 a.m. on a block by a highway.
- On Sept. 21, a 52-year-old Latino man was shot at 4:27 a.m. in a residential area with apartment complexes.
- On Tuesday, a 54-year-old man was shot at 1:50 a.m. in another residential area.
So far, police said they haven’t heard from potential witnesses, and McFadden said investigators are relying on the community to provide additional information. On social media, police posted a surveillance photo of the person of interest, as well as a map locating all locations of the murders and a QR code to their investigation tip line.
“Crime prevention is everyone’s business,” he said. “Look at your Ring cameras, whatever footage you have. Go back to these dates we provided on the map. Please help us out.”
McFadden also warned people against sending “misinformation” to the tip line. “There are grieving families who want justice,” he said.
The family of the 54-year-old man who was killed Tuesday have identified him as Lorenzo Lopez and recently held a vigil for his life. Lopez’s brother Jerry told ABC 10 that it has been hard to process what happened. “He was just a person who was out here at the wrong place at the wrong time at the wrong circumstance,” he said. “We were a year apart, so we were pretty close.”