Police said a suspected California serial killer appeared to be “on a mission,” although they admitted they were still confused about what the mission was.
gunman so far Six men shot, one woman injured The killings took place over an 18-month period in the Stockton and Oakland areas.
There is a $125,000 (£109,000) reward for information leading to an arrest.
The victims seemed to have little in common, no particular ethnic group seemed to be targeted, and while some were homeless, others were not. No one was beaten or robbed, and they didn’t seem to know each other.
“We don’t know what the motive was. We believe it was mission-oriented,” Stockton Police Chief Stanley McFadden said Tuesday. “This man is on a mission.”
The first victim was Juan Vasquez Serrano, 39, who was shot multiple times in Auckland last April.
The woman was shot a few days later, and although injured, managed to scare the attacker away by walking towards her.
She described him as wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt with the hood pulled up, dark pants and an all-black COVID-style mask.
The killer appeared to have been lurking for more than a year before turning his attention to the Stockton area, about 70 miles from Auckland.
Paul Yaw, 35, was shot on July 8, followed by Salvador Debudey Jr., 43, on Aug. 11; Jonathan Hernandez Rodriguez, 21, on Aug. 30; Hu Ann Cruz, 52, died on September 21.
The most recent victim was Lorenzo Lopez Sr., 54, who was shot and killed on September 27.
His brother Jerry Lopez told local broadcaster KXTV-TV that he was “just a guy in the wrong place, at the wrong time, in the wrong circumstances”. “It’s hard to deal with what has happened.”
Four of the victims were walking alone, while the fifth was sitting in his car, Stockton police said.
The same gun is believed to have been used in both the Oakland and Stockton shootings.
Police admitted there was nothing they could do other than some vague CCTV footage.
“Honestly, we just don’t know,” said Stockton Sergeant Joseph Silva. “This person or those who are out there doing it, they’re absolutely daring and brazen.”