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Local News

Wounded Oakland Murder Suspect Airlifted to Hospital After Santa Maria Standoff

Incident ended when unnamed man shot himself in white van near Betteravia truck stop

A murder suspect from the Oakland area was holed up Friday in this van at a truck stop on Betteravia Road in Santa Maria Friday morning. The man, whose name was not released, was airlifted to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
A murder suspect from the Oakland area was holed up Friday in this van at a truck stop on Betteravia Road in Santa Maria Friday morning. The man, whose name was not released, was airlifted to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

A murder suspect from Oakland who had been barricaded in a white van at a truck stop near Santa Maria was airlifted Friday to a Santa Barbara hospital after shooting himself.

The incident occurred at a truck stop on Betteravia Road, just east of Highway 101, according Kelly Hoover, a spokeswoman for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.

The Sheriff’s Department and Santa Maria police received information at about 4:45 a.m. that the suspect, whose name was not released, was in the area, and he was located in a white van at the truck stop, Hoover said.

He barricaded himself in the van when approached by deputies and the sheriff’s hostage-negotiation team contacted the man via his cell phone, and tried to get him to surrender peacefully, Hoover said.

She added that the man was believed to be armed and dangerous.

“At approximately 9:15 a.m. the suspect fired a shot inside the vehicle. Initial reports were that there were two shots, but we have determined there was only one shot fired," she said.

"The suspect was injured as a result of the self-inflicted gunshot wound."

“At no time, were shots fired by deputies or officers,” she said. “The suspect injured himself.”

Sheriff's personnel used less-lethal projectiles to break the van windows and see into the vehicle, and removed the suspect from the van, Hoover said. 

Calstar medical helicopter was dispatched for the gunshot victim, with the aircraft landing on the Betteravia Road overpass to pick up the patient.

A short time later, the copter lifted off for Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital with the suspect on board, who had significant injuries, Hoover said.

The man was sought in connection with a homicide that occurred at approximately 10 a.m. Thursday in the 1000 block of 22nd Avenue in Oakland.

A 30-year-old man was killed in the homicide that the East Bay Times said occurred in a live-work building.

“Other than that, we don’t have any additional information to release,” Hoover said Friday morning. “The victim in that case, the family has not been notified so we’re unable to release the name of the victim.”

The incident involved "a great collaboration" between the Oakland Police Department, Santa Maria police, California Highway Patrol and the Sheriff’s Department, Hoover said.

“They all worked together throughout the night to pinpoint where the suspect was and to locate him here in Santa Maria,” Hoover added.

She only would say law enforcement officers used “investigative means" to locate the homicide suspect, but declined to elaborate.

The truck stop and adjacent Pappy’s Restaurant were evacuated, along with several big-rigs parked in the area, and a Bear armored vehicle was on scene.

“This definitely was a potentially dangerous situation,” Hoover said. “We had a suspect wanted for a homicide yesterday who is barricaded inside his vehicle and he was known to be armed as well. There was a concern for the immediate area.”

Employees and a delivery person inside Pappy’s Restaurant were told to shelter in place, a cook said. The incident occurred before the popular restaurant was due to open at 6 a.m. 

At about 9:40 a.m., several of the semi rigs were allowed to leave the area.

The sheriff's Hostage Negotiation Team and Special Enforcement Team responded to the scene, along with SMPD’s SWAT team, personnel from the Santa Maria Fire Department and American Medical Response. California Highway Patrol and Caltrans personnel helped with traffic control and road closures, including closing Betteravia Road between College Drive and Telephone Road and freeway ramps in the area.

There was no information on the suspect's condition.

Check back with Noozhawk for updates to this story.

Noozhawk North County Editor Janene Scully 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.

A Calstar medical helicopter lifts off Friday from Betteravia Road in Santa Maria en route to Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara after a barricaded subject reportedly was injured from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Click to view larger
A Calstar medical helicopter lifts off Friday from Betteravia Road in Santa Maria en route to Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara after a barricaded subject reportedly was injured from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)
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