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Teenager Shot to Death on West Newlove Drive in Santa Maria

Police say homicide likely was gang-related; victim believed to be 16 or 17 years old

A teenage boy was shot to death Wednesday night on West Newlove Drive in Santa Maria in what police say likely was a gang-related killing Click to view larger
A teenage boy was shot to death Wednesday night on West Newlove Drive in Santa Maria in what police say likely was a gang-related killing (Santa Maria Police Department photo)

A teenage boy died Wednesday night after being shot in the head in Santa Maria, according to the Santa Maria Police Department.

Officers responded at approximately 8:15 p.m. to a report of shots fired on the 300 block of West Newlove Drive, said Lt. Russ Mengel. 

The found the victim, who had gunshot wounds to the head, and he was transported to Marian Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, Mengel said.

Police were trying to determine the victim's identity, but one witness claimed the boy was likely 16 or 17 years old.

No arrests had been made as 10:30 p.m.

"Detectives are talking with people in the neighborhood at the moment trying to get more information," Mengel said. 

Police suspect the fatal shooting was gang-related, but were trying to confirm the motive. 

This is believed to be the third homicide of the year in the city of Santa Maria.

The city’s first homicide of 2017 occurred Aug. 21 when a man shot his ex-wife, Natalia Morozova, and fled with their young son, prompting an Amber Alert.

Nearly 24 hours later, the man, Konstantin Morozov, was located and fatally shot by Los Angeles Police Department officers after confronting them. The boy was found safe.

On Labor Day weekend, a 19-year-old man was fatally wounded in a shooting early Sept. 3, becoming Santa Maria’s second homicide of 2017.

At approximately 12:45 a.m., officers were dispatched to a report of shots fired on the 2000 block of Lazo Way in a northwest neighborhood, according to the Police Department.

Officers found the victim, identified as Edward Jonathan Ramirez of Santa Maria, who had been shot while near the roadway. 

Efforts to resuscitate Ramirez were not successful.

Two other fatal shootings in the Santa Maria Valley earlier in the year occurred in Orcutt and were investigated by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department.

Check back with Noozhawk for updates to this story.

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.

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