Police are searching for a person of interest in a series of five fatal shootings in Stockton, California, that are thought to be connected.
“By definition, you could probably very well call this serial killings,” Stockton Police Chief Stanley McFadden said Friday.
An unidentified person recorded on grainy security video could be a suspect or a witness, police said, and other people may be involved in the five attacks that have happened since July.
McFadden said the slayings have happened after dark and in areas with few security cameras. Each has involved a single victim.
“It wasn’t a robbery,” he said. “Items aren’t being stolen. They’re not talking about any gang activity in the area or anything. It’s just element of surprise.”
A $95,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to an arrest, police said.
The San Joaquin County medical examiner’s office on Monday released the names of the victims, all of whom lived in Stockton: Paul Alexander Yaw, 35, died July 8; Salvador Debudey, Jr., 43, died Aug. 11; Jonathan Hernandez Rodriguez, 21, died Aug. 30; Juan Cruz, 52, died Sept. 21; and Lawrence Lopez Sr., 54, died Sept. 27.
Police said a Latino man was fatally shot just before 4:20 a.m. April 10, 2021, in Oakland. The Alameda County Coroner’s Bureau Tuesday identified the victim as Juan Vasquez Serrano, 39, of Oakland.
Stockton police spokesperson Joe Silva called on the community for help.
"We do have grieving family members that are asking a lot of questions, and they want closure," he said Monday. "We are just hoping that someone will do the right thing and report that information to our detectives."
Paul Alexander Yaw
Greta Bogrow, 60, of Texas, said Monday that her son Paul Alexander Yaw was killed July 8 at a park in the Northern California city.
Bogrow said she has been estranged from her son, who was homeless for about five years.
“I have always hoped in my heart that at some point we would get reunited and have a relationship,” she said. “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.”
Bogrow said she has been in touch with detectives and can’t fathom how someone could commit such senseless slayings.
“They are a really sick person. And they are preying on the weak,” she said. “My son had a big heart. He didn’t want to ever hurt anybody. … I don’t understand what kind of mind this person might have.”
She said whoever is responsible must be arrested quickly.
“I hope that all of this publicity brings this person in to get some kind of justice for what he has done to my son and all the other victims and their families,” Bogrow said. “I just hope it gets him off the street and stops him from doing this to anybody else.”
Lawrence Lopez Sr.
Jerry Lopez, 53, said his brother, Lawrence, who went by the nickname "Lorenzo," was a father of six children ages 16 to 38.
Jerry Lopez said his older brother worked as an independent contractor and had fallen into homelessness. He said that many people offered his brother to stay a place to stay but that he didn’t want to "burden" people.
"He’d rather be taking care of himself than have other people take care of him," Jerry Lopez said.
He said they had lived in Stockton since they were in elementary school.
“No city should have to deal with this,” Jerry Lopez said. “This thing needs to end. It’s scary for our city.”
He added: “It’s just hard to think why a person would even get this way. But there are people out there having hard times and troubled minds.”
Salvador Debudey Jr.
NBC affiliate KCRA of Sacramento reported that Analydia Lopez, Debudey's wife, was devastated the slaying.
“To be honest with you, a part of me died with him that day,” Lopez said. “It’s been hard. It’s been really, really hard.”
The station reported that Debudey was a father and that he and Lopez met 28 years ago when they were in high school. The pair reconnected later in life and had been married 12 years when he was slain in August.
Relatives of the other victims could not be reached Monday.