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Irish Independent
Irish Independent
Maeve McTaggart

Police fear a serial killer is on the loose in California

An image of a ‘person of interest’ linked the fatal shootings of six men and the wounding of one woman in California (Stockton Police Department via AP)

A series of random attacks have led Californian police to fear a serial killer may be on the loose in the state.

Five men have been shot to death while out alone at night in recent months. All within a few miles of each other. 

The random shootings have led authorities to believe they may have a serial killer on their hands.

Police released a grainy image of their “person of interest” on Monday, an individual dressed completely in black with a black cap.

This person was spotted in video captured at several of the crime scenes. Police are offering a $125,000 reward for information on the suspect.

Stockton Police say the string of shootings began last April and fear there could be more in the future.

Authorities across the state are examining old cases for matches with the mysterious killer who has been linked with seven shootings, six being fatal.

Five men were killed this year, with police matching two attacks that happened last year with the shooter.

“We don’t know what the motive is. What we do believe is that it’s mission-oriented,” Stockton Police Chief Stanley McFadden said on Tuesday according to the Associated Press.

“This person’s on a mission."

Although police would not say whether all seven shootings are linked to the same gun, Mr McFadden referenced a single pistol during a news conference, the Associate Press said.

Mr McFadden has “absolutely no answer as to why that pistol went dormant for over 400 days” between the shootings in April and the first case this summer.

Police say there is no order to the attacks, that most of the victims have been male and Hispanic but it is unclear whether those details are coincidental.

A homeless woman reported a man shot her multiple times in April 2021, a case police have now linked with the same person one year later.

She said the attacker wore a dark hoodie, dark pants and a black facemask.

Police have stated the investigation into the potential serial killer is ongoing. 

Last year, the FBI revealed there may be up to 4,000 unidentified serial killers in the US, with as many as 50 active at any one time.

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