STOCKTON, California — Salvador Debudey Jr was trying to find dinner when he was shot and killed by a suspected serial killer on the streets of Stockton, California.
The murder happened on August 11, a short distance from a flower shop owned by Debudey’s uncle. Debudey, an aspiring musician and artist who was known to friends and family as Sal, had stopped by just a day earlier to say hello, recalls William Debudey.
He told The Daily Beast at his outlet on Wednesday: “He was eating well when it happened. “He was at a chicken stall… and that guy pulled out a gun and shot him… You can imagine – your grandson comes and says hello to you, next thing you know, he’s dead. .” First responders found Debudey’s body in the parking lot of William, the funeral flower supplier said: red roses for love and white lilies for peace.
“The day we found out that something had happened to him, was from someone on the street saying, ‘Hey man, we thought your grandson was killed,’ William continued. “And I said, ‘I just met him yesterday.”
William’s brother, Salvador Sr., called around 2:30 a.m. that night and said, “It was him,” he said. That night, he walked the streets to try and understand it all. He hasn’t found any answers since.
“Who did it? What [kind of] monsters do it? ” William continued. “I hope that you know, whatever happens, let God deal with him. Whether he can kill him, or get him out of prison. I believe. into my heart, not a single family has to face this.”
Debudey is the second person to die in a string of five seemingly random – but clearly related – recent deadly shootings in Stockton that have rattled the community. The first victim, Paul Yaw, 35, was ambushed and killed on July 8. Debudey was next, followed by Jonathan Hernandez Rodriguez, 21, who died on August 30, Juan Cruz, 52. , died on September 21. and Lawrence Lopez Sr., 54 years old, died on September 27.
Police now believe, among other things, ballistics results, that the same person or people were behind two other shootings last year, one of which was fatal. The deceased victim, Juan Vasquez Serrano, 39, was killed in Oakland, about 70 miles from Stockton, on April 10, 2021. The other, a 46-year-old homeless woman from Stockton, has not been released. unidentified , was shot outside her tent in the early morning of April 16, 2021 but survived.
“We don’t know what the motive was,” Stockton Police Chief Stanley McFadden said Tuesday. “What we believe is it’s mission driven. This person is on duty. “
Contacted by phone on Wednesday, Police Joseph Silva, a spokesman for Stockton PD, told The Daily Beast that “it doesn’t appear to have been any attempted robbery.” And while there’s only one person interested at the moment, “We still don’t know if it’s just one, two or more suspects,” he said.
Each victim, saving the sole survivor in Stockton, was a man alone at night, according to police. Some of them are homeless, most of them Latino. Robbery doesn’t seem to be a motive. Investigators have released surveillance video of a person of interest, who was spotted on security footage at more than one of the crime scenes. Subject, a man between 5’10” and 6″ tall, wears black clothing, a black cap, and a black mask. He walked with what McFadden described as an “uneven stride,” which police hope will help someone identify him. A $125,000 reward has been posted for any information leading to an arrest in the case.
It’s only been a month since Debudey’s family buried him, “so we’re still deeply saddened,” William said. “Sal already [my older brother’s] first child. So that’s what makes it harder for us… He’s a loving grandchild. None of us are perfect, we all have a little something. But I can tell you, he has a beautiful heart. If he has a dollar and you need it, he will give it to you.”
Debudey, a Stockton native, left behind a wife and a child, his uncle explained. Although he sometimes works for William, Debudey has had to rotate between part-time jobs and no permanent address in recent years, he said, fighting back tears. When he stopped by, quite often, William brought him in to sweep the floors, unload trucks, and place the cut trunks in the cooler.
Before the COVID hit, Debudey landed a gig at a Trader Joe’s warehouse in the area, according to William. But Debudey contracted the virus, and by the time he recovered, the job was exhausted and he was laid off.
Then can not imagine.
“It’s not real. I was still feeling a little numb, because I could see him come through my window and say, “Uncle, how are you?” “William said. “I don’t know if you have grandchildren you see every day, but that’s love. It’s family. That’s what it comes down to.”
William said his clients are “very nervous” and many have become too scared to go out at night. Now, he’s closed his store half an hour early because he doesn’t want any of his employees to be next. As for himself, William said he always kept a gun at work and did not hesitate to defend himself. However, he admits, “I hope God never has to use it, because I’m not that kind of person.”
One The family-started fundraiser has generated a little over $1,000 so far of its $15,000 target.
Less than three miles from where Debudey died is where Lorenzo Lopez, 54, was killed on September 27.
A father of six between the ages of 15 and 38, Lopez has lived in Stockton for 25 years, brother Jerry told The Daily Beast. He works in construction and is a rising rapper, with Jerry producing his tracks.
Jerry, whose family fears for their safety and wants to stay out of the public eye as much as possible, said his brother’s music depicts “what he sees through his eyes.” myself in these streets of Stockton.”
Lopez performed under the name “UNKN8” and was part of a group called Tha Dose.
In a photo Jerry shared with The Daily Beast, Lopez can be seen on the Hollywood Walk of Fame flashing the sign of victory atop Frank Sinatra’s star.
A makeshift memorial has been set up at the scene of Lopez’s murder, where mourners left flowers, religious-themed candles, CDs and a pair of empty Corona bottles in his honor.
Jerry said police told their family they had gathered more evidence that has not yet been made available to the public, and he remains cautiously optimistic that the perpetrator (or perpetrator) will be caught.
“They’re getting close to this guy,” he said Wednesday. “I can feel it.”
Not far away is where Juan Cruz, 52, was shot dead on September 21. On Wednesday, a memorial dedicated to him contained several dozen candles, a large plastic Gatorade bottle and a bag of Doritos.
Joseph Giacalone, a retired NYPD detective sergeant and former commander of the Bronx Cold Case Squad, said he gives Stanley McFadden, the Stockton police chief, “credit for transparency as he was and calls him.” what it is – serial murders.”
Giacalone, now a professor at New York City’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said: “However, I hope he also understands the box of worms he opened. “The media pressure is going to be huge now. Rarely, if ever, the sheriff utters those words. They’ll talk about ‘templates’ or other terms that won’t make the public too nervous. “
Investigators have a number of tools at their disposal, according to Giacalone, beyond hoping for tips to solve problems, according to Giacalone, who said police “always have to look at cases that involve crimes another case or not and they don’t have to be the killers. “
“There are so many things they can do,” he said. “But sometimes you are luckier than you are lucky… The game is starting, and now that the word ‘serial killer’ has been spoken, and the body count is increasing there, incidents are occurring. closer than they were before. So there is a smaller cool-down period, which is very interesting. He became more and more daring in his attacks, even in the presence of the media and the police there. “
For William Debudey, the capture of his nephew’s killer could not come anytime soon.
“It’s been in the news all day, so I really believe they’re doing their best to catch this person,” he said, adding. “I feel sorry for others when I look at their families. I mean, how many more people have to die? “