Five unprovoked murders in recent months appear to be the work of one person, according to the Stockton, California Police Department.
Authorities are looking for a person involved in the five murders, the first of which took place on July 8. All the victims were men and they were all alone at the time of being fatally shot, police said.
The murders all happened at night or in the early morning hours.
Police have released only a few details about the string of murders and when they took place: a 35-year-old man who was fatally shot at 12:31 PM on July 8; a 43-year-old man fatally shot at 9:49 PM on August 11; a 21-year-old man who was fatally shot at 6:41 am on August 30; a 52-year-old man fatally shot at 4:27 a.m. on Sept. 21; and a 54-year-old man who was fatally shot at 1:53 a.m. on September 27.
Stockton police told ABC News that all the victims were ambushed, none had been robbed, and none of the victims were drug or gang related. Police also told ABC News that they have physical evidence linking the five crime scenes.
None of the victims were publicly identified by police, but the family of the most recent victim identified him as Lorenzo Lopez, according to Sacramento ABC affiliate KXTV.
“He was just someone who was here in the wrong place at the wrong time in the wrong circumstances,” his brother Jerry Lopez told KXTV. “It’s hard to process that this happened. I mean, me and my brother have been like twins. We were together for a year, so we were pretty close.”
The City of Stockton said it is offering a $75,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the investigation. Stockton Crime Stoppers is offering an additional $10,000 reward.
The day after Lopez’s murder, Stockton police had said at a news conference that they were not sure whether the series of murders were related.
“We’re still looking at it from an arbitrary point of view, but we do see some similarities,” Police Chief Stanley McFadden said Wednesday. “We have had absolutely no evidence whatsoever that would lead us to believe that one person is rampant in the town of Stockton killing people.”
But that changed two days later when the department linked the five murders and released an image of a person of interest.
Caroline Guthrie of ABC News contributed to this report.
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