Sunday, December 11 , 2016, 6:47 am | Overcast 58º


Local News

Call Reporting Shooting on Arroyo Road Near Goleta Deemed a Hoax

Phone call sets off evacuations, school lockdowns and a large law enforcement response; an investigation is under way

SWAT officers swarmed a residential neighborhood Thursday after a call came in reporting a man had killed his wife and child, but the incident was eventually deemed to be a hoax.
SWAT officers swarmed a residential neighborhood Thursday after a call came in reporting a man had killed his wife and child, but the incident was eventually deemed to be a hoax.  (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

Sheriff’s deputies and the Santa Barbara County Fire Department responded Thursday to the 300 block of Arroyo Road near Goleta after reports of a possible shooting, but it appears to have been a hoax.

A call came into the Sheriff's Department employee line, not dispatch, around 11:30 a.m. Thursday from a man who said he murdered his wife and child, would commit suicide himself and was going to burn the house down, Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Kelly Hoover said.

She said the Sheriff’s Department sent a reverse notification call through the 9-1-1 system to residents in the area, telling them to shelter in place, and evacuated the adjacent neighbors to the home.

The area was flooded with law enforcement, including a helicopter and SWAT team, but the residents of the reported home were completely unaware the call had been made.

Deputies searched the house and backyard, finding nothing. 

"This appears to be a hoax," Hoover said. "It's an incredibly cruel trick to play in light of what occurred this weekend."

Sgt. Mark Williams said the Sheriff's Department is investigating where the call came from, noting that it was an out-of-town area code. 

Several schools were locked down during the response, but cleared by about 12:45 p.m. 

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli 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.

Goleta shooting
Santa Barbara County sheriff's deputies responded Thursday to reports of a possible shooting in the 300 block of Arroyo Road near Goleta. (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

Reader Comments

Noozhawk's intent is not to limit the discussion of our stories but to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and must be free of profanity and abusive language and attacks.

By posting on Noozhawk, you:

» Agree to be respectful. Noozhawk encourages intelligent and impassioned discussion and debate, but now has a zero-tolerance policy for those who cannot express their opinions in a civil manner.

» Agree not to use Noozhawk’s forums for personal attacks. This includes any sort of personal attack — including, but not limited to, the people in our stories, the journalists who create these stories, fellow readers who comment on our stories, or anyone else in our community.

» Agree not to post on Noozhawk any comments that can be construed as libelous, defamatory, obscene, profane, vulgar, harmful, threatening, tortious, harassing, abusive, hateful, sexist, racially or ethnically objectionable, or that are invasive of another’s privacy.

» Agree not to post in a manner than emulates, purports or pretends to be someone else. Under no circumstances are readers posting to Noozhawk to knowingly use the name or identity of another person, whether that is another reader on this site, a public figure, celebrity, elected official or fictitious character. This also means readers will not knowingly give out any personal information of other members of these forums.

» Agree not to solicit others. You agree you will not use Noozhawk’s forums to solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites, without Noozhawk’s express written approval.

Noozhawk’s management and editors, in our sole discretion, retain the right to remove individual posts or to revoke the access privileges of anyone who we believe has violated any of these terms or any other term of this agreement; however, we are under no obligation to do so.

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 >