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Local News

Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Deputies Identified in Carpinteria Shooting

Santa Barbara County sheriff’s officials say this shotgun was allegedly brandished at deputies who pulled over a Santa Barbara man for a traffic violation in Carpinteria. The suspect, 23-year-old Oscar Varela Moreno, was shot and wounded by the deputies.
Santa Barbara County sheriff’s officials say this shotgun was allegedly brandished at deputies who pulled over a Santa Barbara man for a traffic violation in Carpinteria. The suspect, 23-year-old Oscar Varela Moreno, was shot and wounded by the deputies. (Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department file photo)

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department has named Sgt. Brad Welch and Deputy Robert Baisa as the two officers involved in the shooting of a motorist earlier this month in Carpinteria. The man was shot and wounded after allegedly brandishing a weapon at the officers.

Both deputies have been involved in previous officer-involved shooting incidents.

Oscar Varela Moreno, 23, of Santa Barbara, suffered multiple gunshot wounds around 1 a.m. June 7 after being pulled over for a traffic violation near the intersection of Carpinteria Avenue and Highway 150, said Kelly Hoover, a sheriff’s spokeswoman.

Moreno allegedly got out of his vehicle, which was left in drive and rolled into an embankment, pulled a shotgun out of the trunk and pointed it at the deputy.

The deputy opened fire, as did a second deputy who had arrived as backup, Hoover said.

Moreno was taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital with nonlife-threatening gunshot wounds.

After his release from the hospital, Hoover said, he was to have been booked into County Jail on suspicion of felony brandishing a firearm at a peace officer and obstructing/resisting an officer.

Both deputies were placed on administrative leave after the shooting, which is being investigated by the Sheriff’s Department. 

According to the official report on the investigation of Elliot Rodger’s murderous May 23, 2014, rampage through Isla Vista, Welch was one of several deputies who traded gunshots with the man at Little Acorn Park.

Rodger, 23, was driving his vehicle toward the officers, firing his weapon, when deputies returned fire and one of them wounded him in the hip.

Moments later, Rodger shot himself in the head. He was pronounced dead after his car crashed nearby.

For their actions that night, Welch and Deputies Brian Flick, Wayne Johnson, Adrien Marquez and Jorden Walker were awarded the Sheriff’s Medal of Valor.

Baisa, meanwhile, was one of three deputies involved in a 2011 shooting of a suspect who had shot and wounded two men with a high-velocity air gun at Camino Real Marketplace.

When the deputies responded to the scene, the man ran to a field across the street and opened fire on them, hitting two. Baisa and the other officers returned fire, striking the suspect multiple times.

The gunman, Charles Peart Quinn, a 42-year-old transient, later pleaded not guilty to 15 felony and misdemeanor counts, but was ruled incompetent to stand trial. A judge ordered him committed to a state mental hospital.

Noozhawk news editor 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.

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