Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office investigates officer-involved shooting in Santa Maria
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Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office investigates officer-involved shooting in Santa Maria

  • Updated

Santa Barbara County sheriff's detectives on Monday interviewed the Santa Maria Police officer who shot a man waving a handgun near the Boomers! miniature golf course on Sunday, according to Chief Phil Hansen.

The officer, who was not named, was scheduled for a 2 p.m. interview with the detectives, which is standard protocol for investigating officer-involved shootings in the county, Hansen said, adding that he has also arranged to speak with the lead investigator Tuesday morning.

A report won't be released until the Sheriff's and the District Attorney's offices complete their investigations, according to sheriff's spokeswoman Raquel Zick. 

The shooting occurred after Santa Maria Police responded to a 911 call reporting a man allegedly waving a gun in front of people near several businesses in the 2200 block of North Preisker Lane shortly before 1 p.m. Sunday. The man was located by officers near the corner of Broadway and Preisker Lane, where he was shot, according to Lt. Paul Van Meel. 

Several nearby businesses had recently reopened and were occupied at the time of the call.

A manager at the Wendy's, who declined to be identified, said the shooting occurred in front of the restaurant but just beyond the drive-though wall. Nobody heard the shooting because the windows are sound-proof, the manager added. 

The restaurant was not locked down, the manager said, although they closed for the day shortly after the shooting. 

Boomers! manager Beto Arroyo locked the business down after employees heard gunshots and ushered customers inside the arcade room where they remained for 30 minutes, until an officer notified them the scene was clear. 

Presiker Lane was closed for approximately seven hours and was reopened sometime after 7 p.m., Arroyo said. 

Hansen couldn't provide any details about what led up to the incident or what tactics the officer used prior to shooting the man, who also has not been identified but was transported to a local hospital, where his condition remains unknown. 

He added that, based on the information he has reviewed so far, the shooting appeared to be "as clean as can be," meaning that the officer appeared to have properly used deadly force. 

"It's in the best interests of our department to get information out as soon as possible," Hansen said. "There's things I want to say, but I can't be making statements in any detail until they're finished." 


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