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Authorities Release Name of Man Killed by Officers
The name of the man who was shot and killed by Santa Maria police officers last week after he threatened them with a gun — which later turned out to be a replica — was released Monday by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.
Robert Padilla Reyes, 37, of Santa Maria was fatally wounded shortly before 7 p.m. Thursday at the end of a pursuit involving Santa Maria police, sheriff’s deputies and the California Highway Patrol.
The incident began about 6:15 p.m. when Santa Maria police dispatchers received a 9-1-1 call that a motorist had brandished a weapon at School and Mill streets, said sheriff’s Lt. Erik Raney said. A second 9-1-1 caller made a similar report, and Santa Maria officers responded to the area.
A vehicle description was provided, and officers soon located the suspect’s SUV and attempted to make a traffic stop, Raney said.
But Reyes refused to yield, Raney said, and began a chase that extended around Santa Maria, up Highway 101 to Nipomo, down Division Road to Guadalupe, and eventually to Highway 1 southeast of Santa Maria. A CHP spike strip deployed near Highway 1 and Black Road deflated all four of Reyes’s tires, and he stopped about 400 yards south of Black Road, Raney said.
Reyes then got out of his vehicle and brandished a weapon at the officers, who shot and killed him, Raney said. Subsequent investigation revealed the suspect’s firearm was a replica, Raney said.
The shots were fired by officers from the Santa Maria Police Department, Raney said, but it is not yet known how many discharged their weapons, how many times each fired, or how many bullets struck the suspect.
No one else was injured in the incident, Raney said, adding that the Sheriff’s Department is investigating the shooting because it occurred in county territory.
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