Residents are afraid to go out at night

STOCKTON — Renea Debudey’s son took two bullets in the side late on an August night here and died in a patch of dirt next to a Popeye restaurant. It was dark, deserted.

She didn’t know it at the time, but Salvador Debudey Jr. was what police now consider the fourth victim of a armed serial killer which since April 2021 has left five people dead in Stockton – plus a woman who was shot and wounded in her tent, and another man shot 70 miles away in Oakland.

Renea Debudey buried her 43-year-old son over a month ago. And she’s still scared. Like much of this Central Valley farming town of 320,000 people.

“Everyone is afraid to go out anywhere, especially after dark because there is someone killing people for no reason,” Debudey, 62, said. “It’s terrifying. I mean, someone walks up to people and shoots them. Which one of us will be next?

The shooting deaths here all happened in the north of the city between July 8 and September 27, but detectives only connected them in the past week – and it has struck fear across the city .

Arturo Peña, 38, hangs out at St. Mary’s Food Distribution Center in Stockton on Tuesday. Peña said people have kept rocks and sticks next to them when sleeping outside since news of the serial killer broke.

Santiago Mejia, Personal / The Chronicle

The fear was further heightened when police announced on Tuesday that ballistics linked the killings to the shooting death more than a year ago of Juan Miguel Vasquez Serrano, 40, in Oakland – as well as the gunshot wound to an as yet unknown woman a few days later. in Stockton as she emerged from the tent she was living in.

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