Stockton Had Hard Times, But Nothing Like This Killing Spree

Stockton, California’s Central Valley community of 320,000, has endured municipal bankruptcy and crime waves for decades.

In recent weeks, tales of a serial murderer terrorized the city. Police connected six city deaths and one in a neighbouring county to a single suspect. After nightfall, some stopped purchasing petrol. Others didn’t allow kids out at night.

Stockton Had Hard Times, But Nothing Like This Killing Spree
Stockton Had Hard Times, But Nothing Like This Killing Spree

Wesley Brownlee was charged with three murders during a court hearing on Tuesday. Police nabbed him about 2 a.m. Saturday when he was “hunting” Prosecutors believe Brownlee used an untraceable “ghost gun”

“The gun is related to those three killings,” said DA Elton Grau. He stated that Brownlee’s cell phone data put him to the three murder scenes.

After the hearing, the district attorney said her office was still examining evidence for the other three deaths and the attempted murder of a lady who survived. She predicted future accusations.

Judge John Soldati read Brownlee’s accusations during the hearing. Survivors and relatives of the dead were there, and several were emotional.

Jerry Lopez, brother of Lorenzo Lopez, stated of Brownlee after the hearing, “I couldn’t even look at him.” Adding, “It’s unfathomable”

Soldati ordered Brownlee’s jailing. He stated convicted would carry a life sentence. Death sentence.

Brownlee, a truck driver who relocated to Stockton last summer, asked for a public defender.

Stockton has suffered since the 2008 financial crisis despite having a significant inland port and the University of the Pacific. After the market broke, unemployment and foreclosure rates soared. Crime skyrocketed as police officers departed for greater pay in other cities, and local businesses crumbled. By 2011, Stockton had topped Forbes’ list of “America’s Most Miserable Cities” twice in three years. A year later, it filed for bankruptcy, the biggest American city to do so.

Misery persists. One in six Stockton inhabitants lived in poverty in 2020, compared to 1 in 8 overall, while the city’s median family income was $58,393, 25% below the state median. Michael Tubbs, the mayor who sought to alleviate poverty in 2019 with a privately sponsored guaranteed-income scheme, was rejected the following year. Some people thought Tubbs, a Democratic rising star, failed to create strong enough ties with his own constituency. Others argued the demise of the city’s primary newspaper, The Record, enabled an upstart blog to turn the electorate against the mayor.

Police revealed blurry video from security cameras near one of the killing locations showing a man with a covered head and unique walk. The first gunshot was in Oakland, while the remainder were in and around north Stockton. Several of the victims were homeless, officials added. 21-54-year-olds. Five Hispanic guys and one white man were slain; a Black lady survived.

Stockton locals were disturbed to learn a serial murderer was at loose. Gunman target homeless? Race-motivated shootings? Some locals questioned authorities were telling the truth or that the weakened police force (short 100 sworn officers out of 485 required) could solve the crime and protect the city.

Raymond Debudey, 40, a Stockton resident whose brother Salvador Debudey Jr. was killed, said he can’t bear the warehouse. “Things keep happening. No humanity.”

Local authorities are happy the perpetrator was arrested fast.

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The district attorney remarked, “This crime was solved because we’re Stocktonians” “Because you don’t bring horror to our home.”

For many vulnerable Stockton citizens and those who interact with them, the deaths are part of a pervasive gloom.

“What’s the difference?” CEO of Echo Chamber in Stockton, Anthony Robinson Jr. “Poverty is violence”

Community activist Stephanie Hatten called the intruder a “quiet predator.” “He said you’re not paying attention,” she said. “Watch me”

Police said a masked shooter shot the lone surviving victim, a 46-year-old woman, as she emerged from a tent encampment around 3:20 a.m. She informed investigators she couldn’t see the gunman’s face because he was wearing a hooded jacket and a mask.

While searching for the shooter, Stockton police warned high-risk zones in English and Spanish. Several homeless persons in a park south of downtown claimed they hadn’t heard from officials about the gunshots.

 

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