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Lompoc man arrested in Santa Maria for murder of soldier home on leave

Lompoc man arrested in Santa Maria for murder of soldier home on leave

  • Updated

A Lompoc man suspected of murdering a U.S. soldier last year and committing two other shootings was arrested Friday night following a seven-hour standoff at a home a few blocks from Minami Park, according to the Lompoc Police Department.

Walter Morales, 26, was eventually forced out of the house in the 1500 block of South Thornburg Street about 6:30 p.m., taken into custody on a homicide warrant and later booked into Santa Barbara County Jail, a Lompoc police spokesman said.

Walter Morales

Morales

Morales is a suspect in the death of Marlon Brumfield, 22, a U.S. Army soldier who was home on leave from Germany when he was killed in a gang-related shooting Sept. 8, 2019, near the intersection of North A Street and East Ocean Avenue in Lompoc, the spokesman said.

Morales also was allegedly spotted following two separate shooting incidents July 11 in Lompoc.

A Santa Maria Police Department patrol officer apparently spotted Morales at the Thornburg Street residence Friday morning, a department spokesman said.

About 12:30 p.m., Lompoc police officers, assisted by Santa Maria police and Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office SWAT teams, attempted to serve the arrest warrant.

In all, about 30 officers and deputies converged on the home, with a Sheriff’s Aero Unit helicopter providing support as the standoff continued, the spokesman said.

Another suspect, Francisco Gutierrez-Ortega, was arrested Sept. 19, 2019, after turning himself in to the Santa Maria Police Department.

Gutierrez-Ortega was subsequently charged with murder for the benefit of a criminal street gang and pleaded not guilty.

Lights and Sirens in Santa Maria and Lompoc

  • Updated

The following is taken from the Santa Maria Police Department's calls-for-service log and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office daily arrest log. Those appearing as "arrested" are only suspected of the crime indicated but are presumed innocent.

  • Updated

The following is taken from the Lompoc Police Department's calls-for-service log and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office daily arrest log. Those appearing as "arrested" are only suspected of the crime indicated but are presumed innocent.

  • Updated

The following is taken from the Santa Maria Police Department's calls-for-service log and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office daily arrest log. Those appearing as "arrested" are only suspected of the crime indicated but are presumed innocent.

  • Updated

The following is taken from the Santa Maria Police Department's calls-for-service log and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office daily arrest log. Those appearing as "arrested" are only suspected of the crime indicated but are presumed innocent.

  • Updated

The following is taken from the Santa Maria Police Department's calls-for-service log and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office daily arrest log. Those appearing as "arrested" are only suspected of the crime indicated but are presumed innocent.

This report was compiled by Mike Hodgson, associate editor for the Santa Maria Times. He can be reached at mhodgson@santamariatimes.com.

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