California serial killer linked to 6 deaths; police searching for person of interest

Police in Stockton are searching for an apparent serial killer who is tied to at least six deaths. 

Authorities say the suspect is tied to the death of five men in Stockton, along with another death in Oakland. Stockton Police Chief Stanley McFadden says one person survived an attack against the suspect… a woman in Stockton. 

"She was in her tent when she heard someone walking around her campsite. When she came out of her tent, she encountered someone holding a gun at her. There were multiple shots at her. As she tried to defend herself by advancing at the suspect, the suspect lowered his or her shooting platform," Chief McFadden said during a press conference Tuesday. 

He says the men who died were all ambushed and shot to death while alone in the dark. Some of the crimes go back more than a year. 

In the fatal Stockton cases, none of the men were robbed or beaten. The killings took place within a radius of a few square miles between July 8 and Sept. 27 — and none appeared to have known each other, said Stockton Police Officer Joseph Silva. The shootings do not seem to be related to gangs or drugs. 

One of the victims was shot while alone inside a vehicle, while the four others were alone outside at the time, Silva said. Four of the victims were Hispanic men, while the fifth was a White man. The average age of the victims are 42. 

Ballistics tests have linked the fatal shootings.

Stockton Police released a grainy image showing their "person of interest" and on Tuesday they released new video of the person. That person appears to be a man who is between the height of 5'10 and 6-feet, wearing all black with a COVID-style face mask.

Chief McFadden said the person of interest has an "uneven stride" and unusual "upright posture". McFadden added that there is no evidence connecting this person of interest to any of the crimes, but they are searching for him. 

A $115,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to the capture of this person. 

A motive for the killings is unknown and police do not know what/who his targets are. 

"This person is on a mission," McFadden stated.