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Federal authorities launch investigation after 2 more shootings are linked to series of murders in Stockton, California

Federal authorities have expanded the investigation into a series of killings that have shaken the city of Stockton California. Police linked two more shootings to those of five killed between July 8 and Sept. 27, saying they may be “interconnected.” A combination of video surveillance or ballistics led authorities to conclude that those slayings and the two additional shootings, including one in Oakland, are connected. Stockton police spokesperson Joe Silva said: “Last night was the new link that expanded to Oakland Our officers are going back to more old cases we have, and they’re also, obviously, reaching out to other regional law enforcement agencies to see if they’ve had any type of similar cases.”

The San Joaquin County medical examiner’s office identified the five victims of the July through September shootings as: 35-year-old Paul Alexander Yaw of Stockton, who died July 8; 43-year-old Salvador Debudey Jr., 43 of Stockton, who died Aug. 11; 21-year-old Jonathan Hernandez Rodriguez of Stockton, who died Aug. 30; 52-year-old Juan Cruz of Stockton, who died Sept. 21; and 54-year-old Lawrence Lopez Sr. of Stockton, who died Sept. 27.

The two new cases are comprised of a Latino man, who was fatally shot just before 4:20 a.m. on April 10, 2021, in Oakland. Days later, a 46-year-old Black woman was shot at 3:20 a.m. on April 16 in the area of Park and Union streets in Stockton. The woman in the Stockton shooting survived her injuries; her name was not released.

Stockton is a city of about 322,000 residents, which saw 39 homicides in 2021 and 43 so far this year. In all seven shootings, it appears to be the victims were alone and ambushed in darkness. Stockton Police Chief Stanley McFadden said that a $95,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to an arrest in the series of killings, all of which happened in areas with few security cameras. 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 attacks.

Editorial credit: SevenMaps / Shutterstock.com

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