Thursday, May 24 , 2018, 9:57 am | Overcast 59º


Local News

Name of Man Fatally Shot By Santa Maria Police Is Released

Investigators are seen behind an apartment building where a 27-year-old man armed with knives was fatally shot by Santa Maria police on Sunday night. Click to view larger
Investigators are seen behind an apartment building where a 27-year-old man armed with knives was fatally shot by Santa Maria police on Sunday night. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

A 27-year-old man has been identified as the armed suicidal subject who was fatally shot by Santa Maria police officers Sunday night.

Alejandro Valdez was killed on the 400 block of East Mill Street after he confronted police with knives, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department said Monday.

Officers responded to an apartment building at approximately 6:15 p.m. Sunday after a suicidal man allegedly made threats while on the phone with Santa Maria police dispatchers.

Police surrounded the home and attempted to calm the agitated man, who was armed with two knives.

An officer fired a 40-mm less-lethal sponge round in an effort to subdue Valdez.

“When the suspect continued to advance, while still armed with the knives, an officer-involved shooting occurred,” spokeswoman Kelly Hoover said. 

Four Santa Maria police officers fired lethal rounds during the encounter, Hoover added.

“The involved officers have been placed on administrative leave during the investigation into this incident, which is standard procedure for investigations of this nature,” she added. 

An autopsy is set to be conducted Tuesday as part of the investigation to determine an official cause and manner of death for Valdez. Toxicology and lab results also are still pending. 

Members of the Sheriff’s Department Criminal Investigations Division arrived at the scene Sunday night to begin investigating the incident at the request of Santa Maria police,

Once the Sheriff’s Department  investigation is complete, a report will be forwarded to the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office for review to determine if the officers were legally justified in using force.

The analysis into the use-of-force incident typically takes several months before being released.

Due to the active investigation, no additional details regarding the incident will be released at this time, Hoover said. 

An alleyway behind and a street in front of the apartment building where the shooting occurred remained blocked off for several hours Sunday night while investigators were at the scene.

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.

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.

Become a Supporter

Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • 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 >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

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 >