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Officer-involved shooting of Lompoc resident ruled justified

Officer-involved shooting of Lompoc resident ruled justified

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The officer-involved shooting of a Lompoc resident who was killed during a standoff with Santa Barbara Police Department SWAT officers in May was ruled justified by the county District Attorney’s Office.

In a report released Thursday, Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley found that officers acted reasonably in returning fire when Francisco Alcaraz Jr., 32, fired several gunshots at SWAT team members as they tried to serve an arrest warrant shortly after noon May 7. 

The warrant was for a gang-related charge of attempted murder involving a gun, according to the District Attorney's Office.

“Because of the speed with which the situation evolved, no other less-lethal force option was available or reasonable,” the report said.

The shooting occurred at a second-floor apartment at 25 Camino del Vida in Goleta, where Alcaraz lived part-time with his wife and four children.

As officers attempted to serve the warrant at the second-floor apartment, Alcaraz fired several shots at them through the door. 

One bullet nearly struck Santa Barbara Police Officer Bryce Ford in the groin, according the report. 

The officers retreated down the stairwell and took cover nearby behind an BearCat armored personnel carrier, while Alcaraz continued to fire more shots from an upstairs window. 

Officers returned fire from behind the BearCat, firing approximately 54 bullets toward the window, hitting Alcaraz.  

When officers and medics entered the apartment, they found Alcaraz lying motionless in the upstairs landing area of the apartment and a .40-caliber handgun near him. He was pronounced dead at the scene. 

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