STOCKTON, Calif. — Jesse Evango is still reeling after realizing he’s locked eyes with Wesley Brownlee before. Brownlee is Stockton Police Department's prime suspect in the serial killings investigation.
“It’s kind of crazy knowing it was that close,” Evango said of the suspected killer next door.
“I didn’t really interact with him that much, just see him walk past while I was outside sitting here on my porch,” Evango added. “He didn’t say anything to me really, just walked by and did a head nod and just kept going.”
Evango said he and his wife finally connected the dots after Stockton police made the arrest on Saturday because their neighbor was one of the serial killer’s victims. He said saw Brownlee next door a couple of times, months before his other neighbor, Jonathan Hernandez Rodriguez was killed hundreds of feet away in the Meridian Point apartment complex parking lot in August.
Public records show addresses associated with Brownlee and his relatives are very close to the six killings in Stockton, which police say are inter-connected by ballistics.
Three addresses linked to a Brownlee relative are within several hundred feet of the homicides. All of the killings are within two miles of addresses listed for Brownlee and his relatives.
Police said Brownlee had a criminal history with at least four cases in San Joaquin County, three of which were traffic infractions.
Video widely circulated of a person of interest, was taken at the Pacific Pointe Apartments, where one of Brownlee’s relatives is listed as having a residence, according to public records.
It is just around the corner from where Juan Cruz, one of the victims, was gunned down on Manchester avenue in September.
The killings sparked fear and paranoia in Stockton.
“I go to work every morning and I wake up at 4:30 a.m. and I was like always afraid,” said neighbor Luis Cruz.
Cruz was shocked to learn the suspected killer was connected to his apartment complex, but with an arrest made, he said he can breathe easier.
“I’m kind of relieved that he got caught already,” Cruz said.
Brownlee was booked on open charges, including several weapons charges and felony murder. He will be in court on Tuesday, and he’s being held without bail.
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