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Local News

Credit Union Robbery Suspect Fatally Shot by Deputies in Orcutt

Sheriff's deputies confronted man armed with a knife in the Bradley Dip area; man died of his injuries

Deputies gather at the Bradley Dip, on Bradley Road between Clark Avenue and Rice Ranch Road, after a bank robbery suspect armed with a knife was shot during a confrontation on Tuesday morning. Click to view larger
Deputies gather at the Bradley Dip, on Bradley Road between Clark Avenue and Rice Ranch Road, after a bank robbery suspect armed with a knife was shot during a confrontation on Tuesday morning. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

A 30-year-old man suspected of robbing an Orcutt credit union was shot and killed by sheriff's deputies on Tuesday.

The man, who was armed with a knife, was confronted by deputies in the Bradley Dip, between Clark Avenue and Rice Ranch Road, according to Lt. Clay Turner.

"The suspect engaged the deputy, the first responder, and the suspect is currently down," Turner said.

Late Tuesday night, Robert Earl Adams of Nipomo was identified as the suspect, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department said. 

Bradley Road was shut down between Clark and Rice Ranch while deputies investigated.

The injured suspect was taken by AMR ambulance to Marian Regional Medical Center but he died of his injuries, Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Kelly Hoover.

“The suspect was treated at the scene initially by deputies who provided medical care," Hoover said late Tuesday morning. "He was then transported to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.”

The robbery occurred shortly after 9 a.m. at the CoastHills Credit Union in the nearby Oak Knolls Shopping Center, and the suspect apparently fled south on foot, Turner said.

Adams escaped with an undisclosed amount of money and was reported to be armd with a knife, Hoover said. 

Sheriff Bill Brown talks to investigators at the scene of an officer-involved shooting in Orcutt on Tuesday morning. Click to view larger
Sheriff Bill Brown talks to investigators at the scene of an officer-involved shooting in Orcutt on Tuesday morning. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

"The exact amount of money taken during the commission of the crime was recovered in the suspect’s wallet at the scene of the shooting," Hoover said Tuesday night.

Numerous witnesses assisted the Sheriff's Department in locating the robbery suspect, but additional details were not provided.

“Right now the investigation is in its early stages,” Hoover said. “We’re not releasing details about the incident other than an officer-involved shooting occurred. This is an active investigation.”

A steak knife, with a blade over 4 1/2 inches long,  was recovered at the scene of the shooting, but Hoover did not provide any further details about the weapon.

Before the Orcutt robbery, Adams allegedly was involved in several incidents in the Nipomo area Monday night which included an assault with a deadly weapon and attempt robbery/auto theft at the group home where he had lived. 

He then fled the area in a vehicle which allegedly was stolen from the neighborhood, the Sheriff's Department said.  The stolen vehicle was later located crashed and abandoned, but authorities did not say where it was found. 

During the incident Tuesday morning, nearby schools including Pine Grove Elementary School were not placed on lockdown status.

“It went down really quick and the suspect wasn't at large so we didn't feel the need to shut down the schools,” Turner said, adding a deputy had called nearby campuses to let them know the scene was secure.

Hoover said at least one deputy involved in the incident is on paid administrative leave, a standard procedure after an officer-involved shooting. The name of the deputy was not released Tuesday. 

The FBI was expected to investigate the bank robbery while the Sheriff's Department will handle the investigation into the officer-involved shooting.

“What we do know is this is the type of thing we never want to see happen,” Hoover said. “This is a situation that everyone is saddened by and we will definitely take our time to do a thorough investigation.”

The Coroner's Office will conduct an investigation to determine the cause and manner of death, which is pending toxicology and lab results.

Noozhawk North County Editor Janene Scully reported from the scene.

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.

A bank robbery suspect was shot and killed Tuesday by sheriff’s deputies in Orcutt, in the area of the Bradley Dip, above. Click to view larger
A bank robbery suspect was shot and killed Tuesday by sheriff’s deputies in Orcutt, in the area of the Bradley Dip, above. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)
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