Why law enforcement is concerned Stockton, Calif., could be home to a new serial killer

Between July 8, 2022 and September 7, 2022, five people were murdered in Stockton, according to the San Joaquin County Medical Examiner’s Office, via NBC News. Paul Alexander Yaw, 35, a homeless white man, was Stockton’s first victim; he was assassinated on July 8. His ex-mother claimed he was in an unidentified park when he was killed. Salvador Debudey Jr., 43, a Hispanic man was killed Aug. 11, according to ABC10; he was alive when officers arrived at the scene, but rescue measures failed to save him. Jonathan Hernandez Rodriguez, a 21-year-old Hispanic man, was killed on August 30. Juan Cruz, a 52-year-old Hispanic man, was killed on September 21. Lawrence Lopez Sr., 43, a Hispanic man who was also homeless, was killed on September 27. All of the murders took place at night or early in the morning, according to ABC News.

On October 3, according to a KCRA report, authorities announced that a murder in Oakland and an attempted murder in Oakland were linked to the Stockton murders. Both of these crimes happened months before the Stockton murders, dating back to April 10, 2021, when a 40-year-old Hispanic man was killed in that city. Also in Oakland, on April 16, 2021, a 46-year-old black woman (according to the New York Times) was shot multiple times; she survived her injuries. Police did not explain why they linked these two crimes to the Stockton crimes, although they said they had a “person of interest” in both sets of crimes.