Three more arrests were made Thursday — bringing the total to seven — in connection with the fatal shooting of a tourist in December on Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara.
Detectives from the Santa Barbara Police Department, aided by personnel from other law enforcement agencies, served search and arrest warrants at locations in Los Angeles and Ventura countries, Police Chief Kelly Ann Gordon said.
Two juveniles were taken into custody Thursday morning, Gordon told Noozhawk, and are being held on suspicion of homicide.
A third juvenile was arrested Thursday afternoon on suspicion of being an accessory to murder and possession of a firearm.
Their names were being withheld because they are minors.
Gordon also revealed for the first time that the Dec. 9 shooting of Robert Dion “Rob” Gutierrez, 52, of Camarillo occurred as members of two criminal street gangs — one from Santa Barbara and one from Ventura County — engaged in an altercation and exchanged gunshots on Stearns Wharf.
Gutierrez, 52, and his wife, Gerallie, reportedly were in town on Dec. 9 to celebrate their wedding anniversary.
The two were walking out Stearns Wharf when a car occupied by alleged members of one of the gangs drove up and headed off the wharf, according to multiple sources.
Two men reportedly jumped out of the vehicle, and they exchanged gunfire with the members of the other gang, Gordon said.
Multiple rounds were fired, and Gutierrez suffered a single gunshot wound, Gordon said.
No one else was wounded in the exchange of gunfire, according to Lt. Kasi Corbett.
“A firearm was also recovered in today’s search,” Corbett said. “It is not known at this time if this firearm was used in the commission of this crime.”
Police previously had described Gutierrez as an “innocent bystander” but provided no additional details about the incident.
Emergency personnel, including police officers, firefighters and an ambulance, responded to the scene, where they performed emergency first aid on Gutierrez.
He was then taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, where he passed away 11 days later on Dec. 20.
Police have not yet offered a specific motive for the altercation, but presumably it stemmed from some kind of turf issue between the two street gangs.
Gordon previously had told Noozhawk that the deadly violence was not related to any disputes between the city’s Eastside and Westside criminal street gangs.
However, four Santa Barbara men were arrested Jan. 19 in connection with the killing, and they are accused of committing the offenses for the benefit of the Westside Santa Barbara criminal street gang.
The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office last month charged three of the men with murder in Gutierrez’s killing.
Charged with homicide and other crimes were Jiram Tenorio Ramon, 22, Christopher Dave Miranda, 21, and Ricardo Tomas Jauregui-Moreno, 20.
Tenorio Ramon is specifically accused of using a handgun to intentionally kill Gutierrez, and discharging a firearm causing great bodily injury, according to the criminal complaint filed against him.
All remained in custody without bail at the Santa Barbara County Jail on Thursday night.
They are scheduled to appear in Superior Court in Santa Barbara on Friday for a continued arraignment hearing.
A fourth man, James Lee Rosborough, 21, was charged with being an accessory after the fact. He also was being held without bail.
“The Santa Barbara Police Department remains committed to ensuring every suspect that the evidence shows participated in the heinous murder of Mr. Gutierrez is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Gordon said.
The investigation remains active, Corbett said, and anyone with information regarding this homicide is asked to call the Santa Barbara Police Detective Bureau at 805.897.2347.
Gutierrez, who was a health-care professional and AYSO coach, is survived by his wife, Gerallie, and their daughters, Ariana and Carisa.
Check back with Noozhawk for updates to this story.