A man suspected of killing six people in a series of murders in California was arrested by police while “hunting” his next victim.

Wesley Brownlee was driving into the town of Stockton, where five of the murders took place, and was armed with a gun when he was stopped by police officers in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Investigators were following the 43-year-old after receiving suggestions from members of the public.

“Based on suggestions from the department and from Stockton Crime Stoppers, we were able to focus on a possible suspect,” said police chief Stanley McFadden.

“Our surveillance team followed this person as he drove. We looked at his patterns and determined early this morning that he was on a mission to kill.”

Mr. McFadden added that Brownlee was arrested after engaging in behavior that appeared to be threatening, including going to dark parks and places, stopping and looking around before continuing.

He was dressed in black, had a mask around his neck, had a gun and “was on the hunt,” the police chief said.

A police photo showed the weapon allegedly carried by the suspect, which appeared to be a semi-automatic pistol containing some non-metallic materials.

Brownlee is accused of shooting six dead men and injuring a woman in an 18-month killing spree in the Stockton and Oakland areas.

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Stockton Police Chief Stanley McFadden speaks during a press conference

Who were the victims?

Juan Vasquez Serrano, 39, was the first victim to be killed in Oakland on April 10, 2021.

Just six days later, 46-year-old Natasha LaTour was shot dead in Stockton, but managed to survive after scaring her attacker by walking towards them.

More than a year later, the killer struck again, killing Paul Yaw, 35, on July 8, then Salvador Debudey on August 11, followed by 21-year-old Jonathan Hernandez Rodriguez on August 30 and 52-year-old Juan Cruz on September 21. .

Paul Yaw was the first of Stockton's victims to die Pic: Greta Bogrow
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Paul Yaw was the first of Stockton’s victims to die. Photo: Greta Bogrow

The most recent victim was Lawrence Lopez, 54, who died on 27 September.

Police believe the same person was responsible for all of the shootings, with ballistic tests and video evidence linking the crimes together.

There was a $ 125,000 (£ 109,000) reward available for information leading to an arrest.

Lorenzo Lopez, the latest victim, died on September 27 Pic: Jerry Lopez Family
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Lorenzo Lopez, the latest victim, died on September 27 Pic: Jerry Lopez Family

Police said Brownlee has a criminal history and is believed to have also lived in several towns near Stockton, but did not provide further details.

Investigators tried to identify a reason for the attacks, with none of the victims appearing to have little in common.

Some of the victims were homeless, but not all. No one was beaten or robbed and the surviving woman said her attacker said nothing about her.

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