At a news conference with city officials on Tuesday, Stockton police released security camera footage of the person of interest in serial killings in Stockton and Oakland and shared details of an encounter between the sole known survivor and the shooter that occurred last year.
The roughly 12-second security camera clip released by police shows a thin person in dark clothing walking down a covered walkway, past two doors in what could be an apartment complex before rounding a corner.
Catch up: Person of interest sought in series of connected killings
There are no other suspects in the investigation of seven connected shootings, six fatal, in Stockton and Oakland that occurred between April 2021 and September 2022, according to Police Chief Stanley McFadden. Investigators have spotted the person of interest in footage connected to multiple incidents, McFadden said.
Timeline: Key moments in police investigation of Stockton, Oakland serial killings
At the news conference, at which Mayor Kevin Lincoln and City Manager Harry Black also spoke, McFadden addressed questions about whether the attacker or attackers should be considered a serial killer.
"By definition, these shootings are (a) series of killings. So we do believe we have a potential serial killer," he said. "That's how we're going to treat this ... at this time we don't know if it's a person or persons."
Police said they believe the first shooting occurred in Oakland on April 10, 2021, at about 4:18 a.m., when a 40-year-old Latino man was fatally shot.
Police said they believe the second shooting occurred in Stockton near Park and Union streets on April 16, 2021, at about 3:20 a.m., when a 46-year-old Black woman was injured in a shooting and survived.
ICYMI: Two more shootings, one in Oakland, linked to Stockton serial killings
Investigators also consider five homicides in Stockton in 2022 to be part of the pattern:
July 8 fatal shooting of a 35-year-old white man in the 5600 block of Kermit Lane at about 12:31 a.m.
Aug. 11 fatal shooting of a 43-year-old Hispanic man in the 4900 block of West Lane at about 9:49 a.m.
Aug. 30 fatal shooting of a 21-year-old Hispanic man in the 800 block of East Hammer Lane at about 6:41 a.m.
Sept. 21 fatal shooting of a 52-year-old Hispanic man in the 4400 block of Manchester Avenue at about 4:27 a.m.
Sept. 27 fatal shooting of a 54-year-old Hispanic man in the 900 block of Porter Avenue at about 1:53 a.m.
In interviews with police, the survivor of the April 16 shooting described biking to the area of Park and Union streets and being near a tent when she was approached by a person in dark clothing and shot, according to McFadden.
The survivor told police she advanced toward the person to try to defend herself, McFadden said. "She said there was no words mentioned at all," according to McFadden.
The survivor said the person was between five feet, 10 inches and six feet tall, and wore a dark jacket and a dark COVID-19 mask, according to McFadden.
Five of the seven victims have been Latino. McFadden said Tuesday that police do not have evidence to suggest the shootings are hate crimes.
"We don't know what the motive is," he said. "What we do know is that it's mission-oriented. This person is on a mission."
Investigators were able to link the five cases to the two April 2021 cases using ballistics, McFadden said. Police are not yet able to explain the apparent gap between the 2021 and 2022 shootings, he said.
"I have absolutely no answer as to why that pistol went dormant for over 400 days," McFadden said. "It could have been more than one person, we just don't know. That's an awful long time for somebody to be inactive."
There is an "unprecedented" $115,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case, Black said at the news conference.
Officials stressed the need for community members to share tips with investigators.
"We cannot do this without the help of the community," Lincoln said. "That's the least that we could do for these families ... a big part of that is getting this individual or individuals off the streets."
Record reporter Aaron Leathley covers public safety. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @LeathleyAaron. Support local news, subscribe to The Stockton Record at recordnet.com/subscribenow.
This article originally appeared on The Record: Police release video of person of interest in Stockton, Oakland killings