District Attorney Joyce Dudley released her review Wednesday with detailed accounts of the June 4 events that led to the death of Lawrence Alan Kitchen.
According to Dudley’s report, Lompoc police responded to a call of shots fired in the 200 block of South I Street about 8:50 a.m. that day.
Officers learned that Kitchen, 67, had been involved in a heated dispute with a neighbor’s visitor over parking in the multi-unit residential property.
After arming himself with a 16-gauge shotgun and a .380-caliber handgun, Kitchen allegedly confronted Michelle Velasquez, who was picking up the 6-year-old son of an apartment resident to take him to school, according to the report.
Kitchen approached Velazquez’s vehicle after she honked her horn and told her he “was tired of her pulling into his driveway and waking everyone up,” according to the report.
Velasquez backed out of the driveway and parked on the street, calling the resident, Arthur Chavez, from her cell phone. She walked to Chavez’s house, picked up Chavez’s dog and then saw Kitchen sitting on his porch with a shotgun.
Kitchen fired one shot that hit Chavez’s dog, Velasquez’s hand and the right side of her chest.
Velasquez ran into the apartment, where Kitchen followed and began shooting.
Eusebio Ruiz, a friend of Chavez, was shot in the hip inside the apartment.
Kitchen was killed by two gunshots from police, according to the report.
Velasquez and Ruiz were taken to area hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries.
Dudley said Wednesday that both victims have recovered or are recovering, but that Chavez’s dog was killed in the incident.
Dudley’s report describes Kitchen as a U.S. Navy veteran with no criminal history. He had been undergoing treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder at the Veterans Affairs outpatient clinic in Santa Maria.
Kitchen’s wife said he had been acting more aggressive and paranoid in the week before the shooting and had recent trouble sleeping and eating, according to the report.
Dudley concluded her report by stating that a police officer could justifiably commit homicide if in self-defense.
On Wednesday, Dudley said no one can be sure what role Kitchen’s mental state played in the incident.
“We don’t know why he shot at the woman and the dog that day or why he went into the house,” she said. “The average reasonable person would not shoot at somebody because they parked in their driveway. We will never know why.”