STOCKTON, Calif. — There is growing concern across the city of Stockton after a series of killings could possibly be linked to a single person.
Stockton Police Department has described a disturbing pattern of killings happening in a few mile radius in central Stockton. All of the victims were men and were gunned down while walking alone in dimly lit areas with no cameras.
Police say the pattern resembles that of a serial killer, sending concern across the city.
Despite the news, 80-year-old Eleanor, of Stockton, still walks her neighborhood regularly. She lives near where the first incident unfolded in July along Kermit Lane.
“I’ve been doing it for years and so I’m familiar with the neighborhood and the people,” Eleanor said, who asked ABC10 not to use her last name. “There’s more focus on it, and I will have to be more careful.”
Between July and September this year, Stockton police have identified five killings that might be connected to the same suspect.
The victims are all men ranging in ages from 21 to 54 and all but one are Hispanic. Police say some were in cars, walking or asleep but all were alone.
The Department released a single image of a person of interest with a tall slender build who was identified near two of the crime scenes.
"We're all taking this hard because of how much he meant to us in our lives," Pia Lopez, sister of one of the victims.
Pia Lopez is the sister of Lorenzo Lopez, who was killed before sunrise Tuesday. It was the latest attack that Stockton police believes to be connected.
"By definition, we can very well call this a serial killing, but at this time, we don't know if it's one person or two or three," said Police Chief Stanley McFadden.
Sandra, a Kermit Lane resident, said violence has hit their area before. Her home was even marked by a single stray bullet in her garage window.
“Everything is locked up tight as a drum, you know? We have an alarm, we have many precautions that we take,” Sandra said.
However, she says her neighbors look out for one another, and her family takes precautions. She also says feels safe in faith and prayer.
“I feel confident we’re pretty well secured in our homes,” Sandra said.
Police are offering $85,000 for information leading to an arrest. Meanwhile, authorities say detectives are working around the clock on the case.