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Local News

Shooting Suspect Identified as Alleged Goleta Gang Member

Still hospitalized, 25-year-old Gerardo Martinez is accused of assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer

A man who was shot by a Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputy in a confrontation near San Marcos High School early Saturday was identified Sunday as an alleged Goleta gang member.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Mark Williams said Sunday afternoon that Gerardo Martinez, 25, of Goleta, is in custody at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, where he is listed in stable condition with a gunshot wound.

Martinez was shot when he allegedly threatened deputies with a handgun around 3 a.m. Saturday in the 4700 block of Andrita Street, a block off Turnpike Road south of Hollister Avenue.

The confrontation followed a melee in the neighborhood of single-family homes, with multiple 9-1-1 callers reporting that they had heard gunshots and saw people running from the scene at Andrita and Rosemead streets.

Deputies conducting a traffic stop nearby heard the gunshots themselves, and immediately responded, Williams had said Saturday. When they arrived on the street, he said, they found a man with a handgun standing in the front yard of a house. The man confronted the deputies, at which point several shots were fired and the suspect was struck, Williams said.

Williams said Martinez is being held on charges of assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer with a semiautomatic handgun, and a criminal gang enhancement. His bail is set at $300,000.

The circumstances of the shooting remain under investigation by the Sheriff’s Department.

On Saturday, witnesses described to Noozhawk a scene of chaos that erupted after a slow-moving car drove up to the house where the shooting occurred.

A neighbor, Doug Williams, said there was “yelling and screaming and baseball bats being taken to a car down there, smashing the windows, the door panels. Lots of screaming, and then fights breaking out ... Chasing guys, guys running down the street, little fights breaking out. Guys jumping in their cars, speeding away.”

“And then, all of a sudden, small-arms fire going off, about 15 shots,” he said.

Law enforcement arrived quickly, but Doug Williams said he did not see the officer-involved shooting.

“They bull-horned a bunch of people out (of the house),” he said. “A bunch of girls came out, and they spent the rest of the evening just trying to get people to come out, and chasing guys down. I saw some tear gas, some big smoke.”

In the aftermath of the shooting, deputies conducted an intense search of the area, deploying the sheriff’s SWAT team and a county Air Support helicopter, in an attempt to locate other possible suspects or victims. A reverse notification 9-1-1 call was made to the neighborhood, asking residents to remain indoors during the search.

Several people were detained and were being questioned in the incident, and much of the neighborhood remain blocked off by police tape throughout the day Saturday.

Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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