Oct 16, 2022
Stockton Police Announce Arrest of Suspected Serial Killer Transcript
Officials have confirmed that an arrest was made in the Stockton serial killer case. Read the transcript here.
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Harry Black: (00:00)
Good afternoon everyone and welcome. I’m Stockton City manager Harry Black. We are here to provide an update on the serial killings investigation. An arrest has been made and Stockton Police Chief Stanley McFadden will provide more information to that effect. I would like to thank and commend the women and men of the Stockton Police Department. They have been working around the clock and it produced results. Their work exemplifies the best of police field operations and detective work. Also, I would like to thank our various joint task force member agencies for their assistance and resources in getting us to this point and beyond: the FBI, the ATF, the DEA, the US Marshall Service, California Highway Patrol, and the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department. Their assistance has been invaluable. A big thank you also must go out to the Stockton community for their help in getting us to this point. Stockton remains Stockton Strong. At this time. You will hear from Chief McFadden, followed by Stockton Mayor Kevin Lincoln, and then San Joaquin County District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar. Chief.
Stanley McFadden: (01:16)
Thank you. Good afternoon. I am Chief Stanley McFadden. I thank you all for being here today, as it’s very important for you all to be here. Now before I go into details about their arrests, I want to thank the men and women of the Stockton Police Department and our law enforcement partners who have been involved with this investigation. It’s a large group of law enforcement experts that really helped us to toe the line. It’s San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office, the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigations. It’s the Sam Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office. It’s the Sam Joaquin County Probation Department, Lodi Police Department, Manteca Police Department, Lathrop Police Department, Tracy Police Department, Oakland Police Department, California Highway Patrol, California Department of Justice, California Department of Corrections, Chicago, Illinois Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, ATF, and United States Marshals.
Stanley McFadden: (02:21)
I also want to thank our law enforcement families for supporting their loved ones who were dedicated and spent many hours away from home to investigate these homicides. To our task force team, all of you have worked tirelessly around the clock to make the arrest happen. Your effort was second to none and I could not be any proud of each of you than I am right now. To our detectives, my evidence technicians, my task force officers, my dispatchers records, personnel, and the district attorney’s office. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Our work is not done though, as this is still a very active investigation. Now for the arrest details.
Stanley McFadden: (03:09)
Please remember I can only provide limited information for the integrity of the investigation. Just because an arrest was made does not mean the investigation stops. We now have to have a successful prosecution for our victims and their families. For the last two days, I have met with our victims, their families. I can’t go into our conversations, but our talks were very emotional. They want us to bring this person to justice. I’m honored to tell them and all of you that we have an all-star team of district attorneys and lead detectives who will bring justice for the families.
Stanley McFadden: (03:55)
The arrest happened in two parts. One was community tips, and the second was good old-fashioned police work. Based on tips coming to the department’s Stockton Crime Stoppers, were we able to zero in on a possible suspect? Our surveillance team followed this person while he was driving. We watched his patterns and determined early this morning he was on a mission to kill. He was out hunting. He was stopped by our own team in the area of Village Green Drive and Windslow Avenue around 2:00 AM this morning. As officers made contact with him, he was wearing dark clothing and had a mask around his neck. He was also armed with a firearm when he was taken into custody.
Stanley McFadden: (04:47)
We are sure we stopped another killing. Arrested was Wesley Brownlee, 43, for homicide. The San Joaquin County District Attorney’s office will be reviewing this investigation and will file the appropriate charges. I want all you to know how seriously I take these types of investigations. This morning when SWAT team was ordered to go out and to conduct a search warrant at Mr. Wesley’s residence, I went with them. Now, I would also like to thank each of you here, the media. Thank you, the news coverage. Thank you for the social media stores and thank you for keeping the victims’ memories alive during your coverage. You and our community also played a part in this. We still need more tips to come in. If anyone has information about Wesley and this investigation, please get those to our investigators. At this time, I would like to bring up our own mayor, Kevin Lincoln.
Kevin Lincoln: (05:59)
First and foremost, I want to thank you, Chief, for your leadership for assembling the multi-agency task force, district attorney’s office, all those who were involved, to help get this community to where we’re at today. We stood here just a couple of weeks ago, and we made it very clear to the public that the senseless acts of violence will not be tolerated. And that even though there wasn’t any words that we could say that would bring back the lost loved ones, the least that we could do is do our part to bring justice, and here we are today. As chief said, there’s a road ahead of us. We still have work to be done, but to the community, thank you for everything that you’ve done. Thank you for stepping up. Thank you for exercising your voice. Thank you for submitting the hundreds of tips that have come in on a daily basis.
Kevin Lincoln: (06:57)
This could not have been done, and today would not be made possible without you. But I wanted to make a special thank you to our brave men and women who are protected and who sworn to protect and serve this community. Your countless and tireless commitment and service to our community is one of the main reasons why we’re here today. This community, this city, this Stockton Police Department is committed and dedicated to the people of this city. And public service, public safety still remains our number one priority. And I want to make this very, very clear to the people of Stockton, California, the United States and around the world, that when the people of our city of Stockton, California come together and we unite, we can get things done. Stockton will be a place where people can live, raise a family, and grow a business. This is a beautiful city.
Kevin Lincoln: (08:13)
This is a city that each and every one of us call home, and we not tolerate any acts of senseless violence. Those will be held accountable, and we will use every resource at our disposal to make sure the people of our city are protected and feel safe, and that no parent has to worry about taking their kids to a park, that nobody would have to worry about looking over their shoulder when they go to the grocery store, and that our unhoused population here in the city of Stockton will be able to rest a little bit easier tonight as we take the next steps towards getting them help and healing in their life. So to the people in blue, to our men and women who serve this community, thank you. To the residents of Stockton, thank you. To the media. Thank you. God bless you and God bless Stockton.
Speaker 5: (09:22)
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen and thank you for being here. Before I begin the statement, on behalf of the office of the district attorney, I’d like all of us to take a moment of silence for these victims. If you would join me.
Speaker 5: (09:43)
The other day, we saw an article in the paper that talked about serial killers in San Joaquin County. Some were not ours. They simply died at CDCR’s facility in Stockton. But the few that were ours, they wanted to emphasize that they had come to our community, but what they missed was that they all had been arrested, successfully prosecuted and removed from the street, and that’s what happened here. So we want to thank our partners in law enforcement, Stockton Police Department, Chief McFadden, thank you, Katherine Nas Sager, all of them who have worked… Their detectives, officers on the street who have worked so hard and dedicated themselves to ensuring the arrest and apprehension of the suspect. We’ve worked with fellow, local, state, and federal agencies who assisted in the capture of this suspect, Wesley Brownlee.
Speaker 5: (10:41)
I want to thank district attorney Ron Freitas, elect, Chief James Boyco from the Bureau of Investigations and a marvelous team from my office, supervising Deputy District Attorney Caitlin Casey, Deputy District Attorney Janet Smith and Elton Grow for their hard work and dedication 24 hours a day, seven days a week on this case and all the other cases that they handle. They’re the most ethical, professional, hardworking people you could have the privilege of working with. The city of Stockton, all of their resources were made available during the course of this investigation. So thank you city manager. We appreciate that. ATF and our business community, our spiritual community. I couldn’t go five feet in this community where people weren’t saying prayers that we find this individual, and prayers for the survivors and families that have been so terribly harmed by these crimes. I want to thank all of them. Also, those who contributed to the reward amount. In conjunction with Stockton Police Department, the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s office is to committed to ensuring the safety of our community. My administration has been working around the clock,, providing any necessary resources that the Stockton Police Department would need during the course of this investigation into these tragic killings.
Speaker 5: (12:00)
My deputy district attorneys, who have been here all night are reviewing the evidence as we speak. And they’re working actively in partnership with the investigation to determine the charges that we’ll proceed on. The defendant, because I’m no longer ever going to say his name again, because he doesn’t deserve to have a name. He doesn’t deserve to be out there. So the defendant is what we’re going to call him from now on. The defendant will have charges, will be arraigned in court on Tuesday afternoon at 1:30. At that point, after the arraignment, we’ll have a press conference announcing the charges and discussing those charges further with you. This is a very fluid and ongoing investigation, so we will most likely be adding charges, but at this time we have to bring them before magistrate within 48 hours. That clock’s running now, so we have til Tuesday to bring him in.
Speaker 5: (12:49)
We’ll arraign him at that time, and then we’ll proceed to continue to assist with the investigation and also assist in healing our community. Our family justice center, our doors are open, our victim witness services are available and we’re here to help. This crime was solved because we’re Stocktonians, because you don’t come to our house and bring this kind of rain of terror and not mobilize 350,000 people, 780,000 in this whole entire county. Mobilized, mobilized, and captured this individual who reign of terror is no longer. So I want to thank San Joaquin County and particularly the city of Stockton, community members, activists, people in our faith-based community, businesses, our law enforcement, our prosecution, and now we’ll be rolling into the court. Thank them all for this opportunity to really bring home justice for these victims. At this time, I believe we’ll open it up for questions.
Harry Black: (13:54)
Yeah. Yeah. We’ll take a few questions and we’ll do our best to respond to the extent that we can respond. Excuse me.
Speaker 6: (13:59)
Is he from Stockton?
Harry Black: (14:00)
I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Go for it, please.
Speaker 3: (14:04)
I too would like to thank all of our law enforcement partners, especially the brave men and women of the Stockton Police Department and the Deputy District Attorneys assigned to this case from the very beginning: supervising Deputy District Attorney Caitlin Casey, Deputy District Attorney Elton Grow and Deputy District Attorney Janet Smith. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families and the suspect’s reign of terror in our community has come to an end. As the incoming district attorney, I look forward to prosecuting him to the fullest extent of the law. Thank you.
Speaker 7: (14:45)
I know you didn’t want to say his name, but for us to get it right, could you please say and spell the suspect’s name for us and where is he from.
Speaker 6: (14:55)
And does he have a prior criminal record?
Stanley McFadden: (15:06)
Name is Wesley Brownlee that be W-E-S-L-E-Y. Brownlee, B-R-O-W-N-L-E-E. He’s 43 years old and currently resides in Stockton.
Speaker 8: (15:21)
Chief, you mentioned he was hunting. Are those words that came from the suspect?
Stanley McFadden: (15:27)
No, those are are us watching his patterns and behavior.
Speaker 12: (15:32)
Can you speak to the value of the new Facebook group that has been working in mobilizing, and has been called the trailblazing effort to contribute to this investigation, and also how you see them playing a role in continuing to secure additional tips and help to bring him [inaudible 00:15:49]?
Stanley McFadden: (15:50)
I know my PIO, Joseph Silva has partnered with them and has stayed in communications as far as information that’s been going back and forth, but we’re absolutely willing to have people… It takes us all to solve these types of cases and we’re very happy to see a group of folks willing to come together and put a lot of time into it as well.
Speaker 9: (16:13)
Chief, to the extent can, could you walk us through the investigative steps that led the investigators this morning to this guy’s car and what evidence we have to know that this is our guy?
Stanley McFadden: (16:25)
Well, I could tell you what, I have information that had got us to his place of residence and at that point we maintained eyes on that residence until he became mobile. Once he became mobile is when we started to continue follow him until we eventually took him off. When we identify that he’s posing a threat.
Speaker 8: (16:49)
Do we know if this person suffers from any psychological condition
Stanley McFadden: (16:54)
That I do not know at all.
Speaker 7: (16:55)
Has the police department had run-ins with him in the past?
Stanley McFadden: (16:59)
I know he does have a criminal history. I’m not sure to what extent or with what agencies.
Speaker 6: (17:05)
Can you speak to any possible motive
Stanley McFadden: (17:08)
That I don’t know.
Speaker 8: (17:10)
The firearm he used, is that firearm stolen? Does it belong to him?
Stanley McFadden: (17:14)
That we don’t know? Absolutely. It’s a critical piece of evidence that will be processed.
Speaker 10: (17:19)
Is he a long term resident of Stockton or has he been back and forth between Oakland?
Stanley McFadden: (17:25)
I believe he has lived in different cities in addition to Stockton.
Speaker 10: (17:29)
Do you not know how long he’s lived here for kind of a continuous time?
Stanley McFadden: (17:33)
No, I don’t.
Speaker 9: (17:35)
Are you able to tell us any connection whether his residence or otherwise to the neighborhood in Stockton where a lot of these killings took place in near I-5 and Calvers?
Stanley McFadden: (17:46)
That I don’t know specifically. I do know where he lived wasn’t too far from one of our homicides.
Speaker 9: (17:52)
Can you say which one?
Stanley McFadden: (17:54)
Harry Black: (17:54)
Stanley McFadden: (17:59)
Speaker 12: (18:01)
Are you able to speak to his mode of transportation? A lot of theories have been speculated as to railroad vehicle, but obviously can you speak to any of those details?
Stanley McFadden: (18:12)
Well, all we know is he was mobile in the vehicle and that’s all we know. We know part of his pattern and preying is at some point to get on foot.
Speaker 8: (18:21)
Can you describe the vehicle at all?
Stanley McFadden: (18:24)
No, we’re not going to.
Speaker 7: (18:25)
Chief, you said that you followed him until you identified that he was posing a threat. What exactly was that? What was he doing that made you think he was on the hunt on this mission?
Stanley McFadden: (18:37)
Just his pattern were consistent with some of the patterns that we had seen. Around parks, around dark places, stopping, looking around, moving again, and at that point we thought for the safety of the public, it was best to take this person off.
Speaker 11: (18:54)
All right. Thank you guys. That concludes our press conference today. Thank you.