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Criminal Charges Filed Against Suspect Who Was Shot by Deputy

Assault on a peace officer with an automatic weapon among felonies faced by Gerardo Martinez, 25, of Goleta

Criminal charges were filed Tuesday against a 25-year-old Goleta man who was shot and critically wounded by a Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputy over the weekend during a disturbance near San Marcos High School.

Gerardo Martinez remained in custody at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, where he was listed in stable condition with a gunshot wound after he was shot by a deputy during a confrontation early Saturday.

Sheriff’s officials, who have provided few details about the incident, say that Martinez was shot when he 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 fighting and running from the scene at Andrita and Rosemead streets.

Deputies conducting a traffic stop nearby heard the gunshots themselves, and immediately responded to the scene where they found a man with a handgun standing in the front yard of a house, according to Sheriff’s Sgt. Mark Williams.

Martinez confronted the deputies, at which point several shots were fired and the suspect was struck, Williams said.

Martinez is being charged with three felony counts: assault with a semiautomatic firearm, assault on a peace officer with a semiautomatic firearm, and street terrorism, according to Senior Deputy District Attorney Lee Carter.

The charges allege that Martinez, “did willfully and unlawfully commit an assault with a semiautomatic firearm on John Doe when the defendant knew the peace officer should have known that John Doe was a peace officer, then and there engaged in the performance of duty.”

Martinez is also facing special allegations of street terrorism, since he is associated with a criminal street gang, G-13, “with the specific intent to promote further or assisted in criminal conduct by gang members,” according to the criminal complaint.

Another special allegation listed in the charges states that the assault was a serious felony, making Martinez ineligible for a sentence to be served in county jail.

The maximum exposure to prison time that Martinez is facing is 19 years, according to Deputy District Attorney Hans Almgren.

His arraignment has been set for Oct. 23 in Santa Barbara Superior Court.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper 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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