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Local News

Knife-Wielding Suspect Shot, Killed by Officers

The man is believed to have stabbed his wife in their home before threatening police

Robert Guzman, seen here in a 2011 booking photo provided by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department, was shot and killed by Santa Maria officers after he threatened them with a knife.
Robert Guzman, seen here in a 2011 booking photo provided by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department, was shot and killed by Santa Maria officers after he threatened them with a knife.

Officers shot and killed a man armed with a knife Sunday night after he allegedly stabbed his wife and then threatened them, according to the Santa Maria Police Department.

The incident occurred at a home in the 1100 block of East Sunset Avenue, where the officers had responded at about 10 p.m. on a report of a domestic disturbance, said Sgt. Jack Dunn.

“Upon arrival, officers were confronted by a male suspect, who had just stabbed his wife,” Dunn said. “The male suspect advanced towards officers with a deadly weapon and failed to comply with the officers demands. Officers were forced to fire their service weapons, and the suspect succumbed to his injuries.”

The wife of the man, who was identified Monday as 50-year-old Robert Guzman, was taken to Marian Regional Medical Center for treatment of non life-threatening injuries and was later released, said police Chief Ralph Martin.

The names of Guzman’s wife and the officers involved in the shooting will not be released until the conclusion of a Santa Barbara Count Sheriff’s Department investigation into the officer-involved shooting, Martin said.

Martin told Noozhawk Monday that police have been called to that couple’s home more than three dozen times in the past 10 years.

County investigators were still on scene Monday morning, walking back-and-forth between two one-story homes at the end of the cul-de-sac.

Yellow tape and a police cruiser blocked access to the last three homes on either side of the street.

An officer on scene said investigators were nearly finished working at the location, which is just around the corner from Tunnell Elementary School. Monday marked the Santa Maria-Bonita School District’s first day back from winter break.

A neighbor, whose home was behind the yellow tape, wondered aloud about which neighborhood couple was involved.

“I’m trying to figure out …” he said, adding that he knows at least one of the male neighbors to be violent. He declined to give his name.

Other neighbors standing outside their homes Monday afternoon said they were awoken by gunshots Sunday night and walked outside to see more than a dozen police cars in the usually quiet cul-de-sac.

One neighbor, who also declined to give his name, said it was common for the wife to seek shelter from her husband at neighboring homes.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff contributed to this report.

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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