A man who was shot and killed early Saturday morning in the back parking lot of Elmer’s bar in the 100 block of East Clark Avenue has been identified by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office as 43-year-old Anthony Steven San Juan of Santa Maria.
The shooting occurred at approximately 1:30 a.m. Saturday, when deputies responded to a report of a man with a gun at the Orcutt bar.
During the course of the investigation, sheriff’s detectives developed information that pointed to a possible suspect. The suspect was identified as 35-year-old Jonathan David Highley, of Orcutt.
After the shooting, surveillance by sheriff’s detectives was established in the neighborhood where the suspect reportedly had fled. Shortly after 9 a.m. Saturday, sheriff’s detectives took Highley into custody as he was leaving his residence with his wife and four children.
He was transported to the Santa Maria sheriff’s station. After an intensive and comprehensive investigation, which included the processing of the crime scene, the gathering of physical evidence and the interviews of several witnesses, Highley was arrested in connection with the homicide.
At this time, the relationship between the suspect and the victim is unknown as is the motivation for the shooting.
Highley was booked at the Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of murder, preventing or dissuading a witness by force or threat, assault with a firearm on a person, threatening a crime with intent to terrorize and intentional/personal discharge of a firearm in commitment of a felony causing death. A bail of $2 million has been requested.
Highley’s wife, 29-year-old Mayra Perez, also was arrested and booked on an accessory charge.
Child Protective Services responded and has custody of Highley's children.