Officials Claim The Serial Killer In Stockton Used A “Ghost Pistol” In The Commission Of Three Murders.

Prosecutors said the weapon is a “ghost gun,” a firearm that can be 3D printed without a federally mandated serial number or the usual background check and delay that comes with a retail purchase of a gun.

It’s thought to be one of the first known serial murder cases in which a ghost gun was said to be the weapon.

In some instances, such guns have been used almost like so-called burner cellphones — as disposable devices. The weapons, which are now prohibited in some cities, have raised concerns among police and the U.S. Justice Department because they allow anyone to circumvent legal filters for firearm ownership.

As a convicted felon, Brownlee was prohibited from having a gun. His criminal record includes multiple drug convictions, but no allegations of violence.

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According to a law enforcement source with knowledge of the record, in early 1999 he was sentenced to two years in prison for possession for sale of a controlled substance. He was released on parole about seven months later.

In 2001 he was sentenced to three years in state prison for transporting or selling drugs, the source said. He was released to parole in 2003, and discharged from parole in 2006.

Both cases were prosecuted in Alameda County. NBC affiliate KCRA of Sacramento reported that his record included allegations tied to possession of crack cocaine.

Stockton police have said the serial killer’s victims were predominantly Latino, as is the community; at least one has been described as Black; three were described as homeless.

Police Chief Stanley McFadden said there’s no evidence of hate as a motive.

“We know this person wasn’t stealing, wasn’t robbing, they weren’t doing other than killing,” he said. “You know the motive at this point is a person who is on a mission to kill.”

A fatal attack on April 10, 2021, was the only one outside Stockton and is believed to be the serial killer’s first. It happened in Oakland, when Juan Vasquez Serrano, 39, was shot in the predawn darkness, officials said.

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Police and prosecutors indicated all the attacks have some link to the weapon seized by police Saturday. Investigators cited a statewide ballistics database for helping them tie the 2021 victims to the spree.

Tuesday’s formal charges are connected to the slayings of Jonathan Hernandez Rodriguez, 21, of Stockton, who died Aug. 30; Juan Cruz, 52, of Stockton, who died Sept. 21; and Lawrence Lopez Sr., 54, of Stockton, who died Sept. 27.

The other victims include Paul Alexander Yaw, 35, of Stockton, who died July 8; Salvador Debudey Jr., 43, of Stockton, who died Aug. 11;

The spree’s sole survivor, a 46-year-old Black woman who lived on the street in Stockton, was shot after she confronted a man outside her tent on April 16, 2021.

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