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Tuesday, January 15 , 2019, 8:10 pm | Overcast 54º


Suspect Shot Dead in Santa Maria After Chase

Man killed during incident late Monday was heavily armed and allegedly refused to follow deputies' commands

A man was shot and killed Monday night after a pursuit involving three local law-enforcement agencies, a Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department official said.

The incident began shortly before 9 p.m. Monday with a domestic-disturbance call in the 200 block of Broadway Street in Orcutt, sheriff’s Sgt. Mark Williams told Noozhawk. The victim called 9-1-1 and reported a family member was armed and making threats.

A description of the suspect’s vehicle was provided, and deputies soon located him at a gas station at Broadway and Clark Avenue, Williams said.

Deputies approached the man, who had exited the vehicle, and found him to be “nonresponsive,” Williams said.

“He was asked if he had guns, and he said, ‘Yes, I have several on me and several in my car,’” Williams said.

The suspect then got back in his vehicle, ignored deputies’ orders to stop and drove away, commencing a “slow-speed” chase into the city of Santa Maria, Williams said.

Deputies were joined in the pursuit by officers from the Santa Maria Police Department and California Highway Patrol, Williams said.

The chase ended at Preisker Lane, where the suspect sat in his vehicle, and refused to comply with orders from deputies.

“They told the subject to throw his guns out the window, and he threw guns out the window,” Williams said. “A short time later, the subject exited the vehicle, and went over and picked up the guns, and that’s when shots were fired.”

Williams said he did not know how many officers fired shots at the suspect.

The suspect, whose identity was not released, was declared dead at the scene, said Williams, adding that no one else was hurt.

Monday night’s fatal incident was the fifth officer-involved shooting in Santa Barbara County in recent weeks:

» Michael Paul Ledesma, 18, was critically wounded when he was shot by a CHP officer during a traffic stop near Los Alamos on July 15.

» Matthew Lyell Berg, 47, of Santa Maria, was fatally shot by a sheriff’s deputy July 1 near Buellton when he allegedly tried to ram a patrol car after a pursuit on Highway 101.

» Jose Luis Ortega, 22, a wanted parolee armed with a handgun, was shot and killed June 28 during a chase in Santa Maria.

» Lawrence Kitchen, 67, of Lompoc, was fatally wounded by Lompoc police officers June 4 after he shot two people outside a South I Street home.

All of the incidents remain under investigation by law-enforcement agencies.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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