Sunday, December 17 , 2017, 12:57 am | Smoke 47º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Homicide Investigation Leads to Fatal Officer-Involved Shooting in Lompoc

Officers return fire after being shot at by suspect in riverbed killing

Yellow evidence markes dot A Street near Airport Avenue in Lompoc on Sunday after an officer-involved shooting involving a homicide suspect. Click to view larger
Yellow evidence markes dot A Street near Airport Avenue in Lompoc on Sunday after an officer-involved shooting involving a homicide suspect. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

Two men were dead Sunday after a homicide in the Santa Ynez Riverbed in Lompoc was followed by a fatal officer-involved shooting of the slaying suspect.

Shortly after 6 a.m., officers responded to the riverbed, in the area of the multipurpose trail roundabout, on a report of a homicide, Lompoc police Sgt. Kevin Martin said.

They found a body, and were given a description of a possible suspect by witnesses, Martin said.

Shortly before 7 a.m., a subject matching the suspect's description was located in the area of A Street and Airport Avenue.

"Officers responded to that area, and as they arrived the subject began to fire rounds at the officers," Martin said. "Officers exited their vehicles and returned that gunfire, striking the suspect."

The wounded suspect was taken by AMR ambulance to Lompoc Valley Medical Center.

The suspect, a 34-year-old Lompoc man whose name was not released, died of his injuries,  Kelly Hoover, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman, confirmed Sunday night.

No Lompoc police officers were injured, Martin said.

Martin declined to say anything about the victim in the homicide. 

"At this point, the investigations are so early in that it's inappropriate for us to release anything," Martin said more than four hours after the officer-involved shooting.

Lompoc officers were continuing to investigate the homicide, while members of the Sheriff's Department were investigating the officer-involved shooting, Martin said.

Investigators examine the scene of a homicide in the Santa Ynez Riverbed near Lompoc on Sunday. The search for the homicide suspect led to an officer-involved shooting on A Street near Airport Avenue. Click to view larger
Investigators examine the scene of a homicide in the Santa Ynez Riverbed near Lompoc on Sunday. The search for the homicide suspect led to an officer-involved shooting on A Street near Airport Avenue. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

"Our protocol here in the county is if there's an officer-involved shooting, for transparency purposes it's always better to have an outside agency conduct the investigation," Martin said.

The name of the homicide victim will not be released until family members are notified.

However, riverbed residents were mourning the death of their friend.

"He was honestly one of the most genuinely nice guys that were on the street," said friend Irene Gunn. "He did anything to help anybody else he could."

She and another riverbed resident believe a dispute over a woman led to the slaying.

A Street between Pine and College avenues remained closed for several hours Sunday while sheriff's deputies investigated the officer-involved shooting.

While the investigation continnued in the riverbed, people walked and rode bikes on the multipurpose trail Sunday afternoon.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully 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.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.



Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >