The fatal shootings of six men in California have been linked through ballistics tests and video footage, and police said at a press conference Tuesday that they are searching for a person of interest.

“We believe we may have a potential serial killer,” said Stockton Police Chief Stanley McFadden. “That’s how we’re going to treat it like it is.”

A person of interest appears on video at several crime scenes, but no evidence directly links them to the shooting, McFadden said. Additionally, authorities do not know if there is one suspect or multiple.

McFadden said authorities are asking for the public’s help in identifying a person of interest. He then showed a short surveillance video showing a man dressed in black and wearing a black hat. McFadden drew attention to the man’s uneven stride and upright posture.

Screenshot from a video of a person of interest in multiple murders in California.

Stockton Police Department

Authorities announced last week that five people in Stockton have been killed in recent months, ambushed and shot alone in the dark. Paul Yaw, 35, was killed on July 8; Salvador Debudie Jr., 43, died Aug. 11; Jonathan Hernandez Rodriguez, 21, died Aug. 30; Juan Cruz, 52, died on September 21; and Lawrence Lopez Sr., 54, died Sept. 27, the San Joaquin County Medical Examiner’s Office said Monday.

The latest victim, Lopez, was shot shortly before 2 a.m. in a residential area north of downtown.

He “was just a man who happened to be here in the wrong place, at the wrong time, in the wrong circumstances.” his brother, Jerry Lopez, told KXTV-TV. “It’s hard to process that this happened.”

SPD News: Homicide Series Update

SPD News: Homicide Series Update. Today, Chief Stanley McFadden released the “Persons of Interest” video from our homicide series. Detectives also continued their investigation into our surviving victim of the April 16, 2021, shooting at Park Street and Union Street. She described the suspect as a man of unknown race, 5’10 to 6’00 with a thin build, wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt with the hood pulled up and dark pants. The man was also wearing an all-black, COVID-style mask. The Stockton Police Department encourages anyone with information to call our tip line at (209) 937-8167. You can also email your information to You can submit anonymous tips to Stockton Crime Stoppers as follows: TYPE – Submit a tip online using the Stockton Crime Stoppers website at TALK – Call Stockton Crime Stoppers at (209) 946-0600. DOWNLOAD the P3 Tips mobile app and send tips anonymously. The reward has now been increased to $100,000.00 as a local business owner, who wished to remain anonymous, donated $5,000.00 towards the reward. #StocktonCrimeStoppers

Published Stockton Police Department on Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Four of the victims were walking alone and the fifth was in a parked car when they were killed in the evening or early morning. None of the men had been robbed or beaten before the killings, which occurred within a several-square-mile radius, and none appeared to be acquaintances, Stockton Police Officer Joseph Silva said. The shooting also does not appear to be gang or drug related.

The killing of an Oakland man around 4:15 a.m. on April 10, 2021, was also linked to violence in Stockton, police said. Juan Vazquez Serrano, 39, was shot to death multiple times, according to the Alameda County Coroner’s Office. It is not yet clear whether the man was also unaccompanied when he was killed.

During a news conference Tuesday, McFadden said the only surviving victim, a black woman, was in her tent last year when she was confronted by someone with a gun. The suspect fired several shots, but she was able to defend herself. She described the suspect as 5’10” to 6′ tall and wearing dark clothing, a dark mask and a dark jacket. She said the suspect did not say anything to her.

Most of the victims were Hispanic men, and their average age was 42, McFadden said. He said some of the victims were homeless and some were not.

“We don’t know what the motive is. We believe it’s mission oriented,” McFadden said Tuesday. “This person is up to the task.”

With the $25,000 donation from the ATF on Tuesday, the total reward for information leading to an arrest will be up to $125,000, police said.

Stockton is home to 320,000 residents and is approximately 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of the state capital, Sacramento.