CHILLING footage shows the suspected Stockton serial killer on the prowl – walking with a distinctive limp that could help identify him.
Stockton Police Chief Stanley McFadden said last night: “We do believe we could have a potential serial killer.
“That’s how we’re going to treat it as such.”
Five murders between July and September this year and another last year were linked by ballistic evidence, he said.
The person of interest appears on video at several of the crime scenes — but no evidence directly links them to the shootings.
The police chief asked the public to note the suspect’s uneven stride and upright posture.
“We don’t know what the motive is. What we do believe is that it’s mission-oriented,” McFadden said. “This person’s on a mission.”
At this stage, authorities do not know whether there is one killer or a gang.
But the unrelated victims appear to have been picked off at random under the cover of darkness.
Most of the victims were Hispanic men, with an average age of 42. Some were homeless and some were not.
Fears a serial killer was on the loose were raised last month after 43 murders in the city so far this year.
Now police have confirmed five of the fatal shootings are linked to two more from last year.
A timeline of the murders was also revealed.
There were six days between the first two shootings and then more than a year until the third crime, said McFadden.
The first known victim was Juan Vasquez Serrano, 39, who was shot several times in Oakland around 4.15am on April 10, 2021.
The second victim – unnamed black woman – survived after a man dressed all in black ambushed in her tent and fired several shots.
She said the shooter – who did not say a word – was between 5’10” and 6ft and wore a Covid-type black face mask.
A spree of five more murders began this summer.
Paul Yaw, 35, was killed on July 8.
His mother Greta Bogrow, 60 said he had been homeless for several years and they were estranged.
She added: “I have always hoped in my heart that at some point we would get reunited and have a relationship.
“It’s always a mom’s dream that their children turn out to be good people. He was a good person. I just wish I had the opportunity to speak to him again in this life.”
Salvador Debudey Jr, 43, died on August 11.
Devastated wife of 12 years Analydia Lopez said: “To be honest with you, a part of me died with him that day. It’s been hard. It’s been really, really hard.”
Youngest victim Jonathan Hernandez Rodriguez, 21, was shot dead in his car on August 30.
Juan Cruz, 52, was murdered on September 21.
The latest victim, dad of six Lawrence Lopez Sr, 54, was ambushed in a residential area shortly before 2am on September 27.
He “was just a person who was out here at the wrong place, at the wrong time, at the wrong circumstance,” his brother, Jerry Lopez, told KXTV-TV.
“It’s hard to process that this has happened.”
Cops previously released a grainy image of a person of interest in the case.
“This is very concerning,” said Mayor Kevin Lincoln II. “We don’t know if there’s one individual or a series of individuals that are responsible for these homicides.”
There is now a reward of more than $125,000 for information leading to an arrest after the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms donated $25,000 to the fund.
Police have assembled a team of detectives, task force officers, camera room operators, and crime analysts to solve the crime.
None of the victims were robbed, and all the crimes occurred when the victims were alone in areas that lacked security cameras.
Police warned the public to avoid traveling alone in the dark and through isolated places.
“I know that’s put a lot of folks on edge, hearing that out there,” McFadden said.
“We are seeing some patterns and similarities in some of our more recent homicides where we’re taking a closer look at.”