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Friday, January 18 , 2019, 1:59 am | Fair 51º

 
 
 
 

Suspect in Custody after 4 Wounded in 2 Goleta Shootings

2 sheriff's deputies, 2 others shot in altercation with 'aggressive panhandler'; alleged gunman wounded, subdued by officers

Two Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies and two young men were wounded in separate shootings involving a high-powered pellet gun Saturday afternoon near Camino Real Marketplace in Goleta. The alleged gunman was himself wounded when deputies returned fire.

None of the wounds appear life-threatening, but authorities said at least one of the deputies may require surgery.

According to sheriff’s spokesman Drew Sugars, deputies responded to Camino Real Marketplace, 7040 Marketplace Drive, just before 1 p.m. Saturday after receiving reports of an “aggressive panhandler.” Upon arrival, the officers were told that the man had a gun.

Three deputies located the suspect in a vacant field near the northeast corner of the intersection of Hollister Avenue and Storke Road, across from Jack in the Box, 6875 Hollister Ave., Sugars said. They ordered the man to drop his weapon but, according to witnesses, the suspect ignored their commands and opened fire on the deputies. One officer was struck in the face and another in the forearm, Sugars said.

The three deputies fired back, hitting the man several times, Sugars said. The suspect was transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for emergency treatment. His identity has not yet been confirmed and his condition was not immediately known.

The deputies were transported to Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital. Their wounds do not appear life-threatening, Sugars said, although one deputy may require surgery.

Further investigation determined that the handgun was a high-powered pellet gun.

During the investigation of the initial complaint, authorities discovered that the suspect allegedly shot two young men who had refused his demands for money as he walked from Camino Real Marketplace. According to Sugars, one victim was taken to Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital and the other was treated at the scene. Their wounds also are not considered life-threatening.

Sugars said sheriff’s detectives were gathering evidence at both locations and the California Highway Patrol redirected traffic at the Hollister-Storke intersection for several hours. The investigation is continuing, Sugars said.

Click here for the Sheriff’s Department news release.

Noozhawk staff writer Sonia Fernandez can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews.

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