The man arrested in connection to a string of shootings across Northern California was charged with three counts of homicide during his first court appearance on Tuesday.
Wesley Brownlee, 43, was arrested early Saturday morning in Stockton, where the majority of the shootings took place. Police Chief Stanley McFadden said that Brownlee was “out hunting” and “on a mission to kill” when he was taken into custody.
Investigators say a total of seven shootings — one in Oakland and six in Stockton — over the last year and a half have been connected through ballistic evidence. All but one of the shootings were fatal.
Brownlee stood in court on Tuesday wearing a red jumpsuit to signify his high-security risk.
Superior Court Judge John Soldati denied bail and announced potential punishment if Brownlee is convicted.
“The minimum punishment for these charges would be life in prison without the possibility of parole,” Soldati said. “The maximum penalty would be death.”
Among the victims of these shootings was 54-year-old Lorenzo Lopez, an unhoused man from Stockton. His brother Jerry Lopez says he’s still trying to make sense of his death.
“Trying to stay focused, but it’s kind of hard,” Jerry Lopez said. “It’s a life-changing thing.”
Brownlee is currently only facing charges for the three most recent shootings. However, San Joaquin County District Attorney Tori Verber-Salazar says the department will likely bring additional homicide charges as more evidence is gathered.
“Here in Stockton, this individual thought he could come to our community and do harm,” Verber-Salazar said at a press conference after the hearing. “You do not get to come in our house and do this kind of crime and this kind of harm.”
Brownlee did not enter a plea and will return to court for further arraignment on Nov. 14.
CapRadio provides a trusted source of news because of you. As a nonprofit organization, donations from people like you sustain the journalism that allows us to discover stories that are important to our audience. If you believe in what we do and support our mission, please donate today.