In connection with five deadly shootings that have occurred since July in Stockton, California, and that detectives suspect are connected, rewards totaling $85,000 have been offered, according to the police.
Police have identified a “person of interest” in the killings after examining surveillance footage, Stockton Police Chief Stanley McFadden announced on the department’s Facebook page on Saturday. Police published a blurry, still photograph of a man or woman wearing a black cap and all-black clothing who was being videotaped from behind.
According to police, there is also firearm evidence connecting the killings, according to CBS News.
The most recent murder took place just before 2 a.m. A 54-year-old man was shot on Tuesday in a neighborhood to the north of the city center, according to McFadden.
He was the fifth individual, according to the police, who had been shot and killed since July 8 within a few square kilometers. Based on their research and the reports they are receiving, detectives think that all five homicides are connected, McFadden said.
“By definition, you could probably very well call this serial killings,” McFadden told CBS News.
The victims were each strolling alone when they were killed in the 320,000-person community 50 miles south of Sacramento, the state capital, according to police. The five male victims were ambushed and shot in each instance, according to the chief, when they were alone in dimly lit settings.
The victims ranged in age from 21 to 54; four of the males were of Hispanic descent and one was White, according to McFadden.
“No family should have to walk around their city in fear or looking over their shoulder,” Stockton Mayor Kevin Lincoln said.
“We are committed to protecting our community and solving these cases utilizing all the resources at our disposal, including YOU. We need YOUR help!!!! If anyone has information regarding these investigations, call us immediately. Please remember our victims have grieving family members who need resolution. If you know something, say something,” the chief wrote on Facebook.
Stockton Crime Stoppers added $10,000 to the city of Stockton’s reward of $75,000 for information.
According to Stockton police, they are currently looking into other unsolved homicides to determine whether there is a connection.