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Wednesday, January 16 , 2019, 11:37 pm | Light Rain Fog/Mist 59º


Santa Maria Police Searching for Suspects Who Shot Man Multiple Times

Investigators say the shooting is related to gang activity; victim transported to local hospital with injuries

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A worker cleans the sidewalk where a man was shot multiple times on Tuesday morning, on the corner of Battles Road and Western Avenue in Santa Maria.  (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

A man was shot multiple times in Santa Maria Tuesday morning and taken to a local hospital, police Lt. Paul Van Meel said.

The man was shot by unknown assailants in the area of Battles Road and Western Avenue around 10:45 a.m., Van Meel said.

Santa Maria police and fire personnel responded to the scene, along with a American Medical Response ambulance that transported the victim by medical helicopter to a local hospital.

Police were working to confirm the man's identity Tuesday afternoon, and to identify suspects in the shooting, Van Meel said. 

The suspects were described as two Hispanic males driving a dark-colored, four-door vehicle, he added.

The victim apparently was shot outside a vehicle, but police were working to determine whether he was walking in the area or was driven there. 

Investigators believe the shooting was related to gang activity.

Any witnesses who saw anything suspicious in the area can contact Detective Jesus Caro at 805.928.3781, ext. 1304, the Police Department's tip line by calling 805.928.3781, ext. 2677 or submit information through the agency’s website by clicking here. 

Later Tuesday, police responded to reports of at last two strong-armed robberies including one where the victim was pistol whipped before the suspects fled, Sgt. Michael McGehee said. 

A short time later, an officer saw a vehicle that matched the suspects’ description and attempted to conduct a traffic stop near Donovan Road and Lynne Drive.

However, the vehicle entered a condominium complex in the 1700 block of North Lynne Drive where the four suspects ran away.

A helicopter, already flying over Santa Maria to help police investigating the robberies, assisted officers in locating four suspects.

Arrested were Santa Maria residents Christian Ambriz, 20, and Luis Ruben, 23, along with two juveniles. Police say they were arrested for suspicion of robbery and a gang enhancement.

Officers also found a weapon near the scene, McGehee said.

On Wednesday, Van Meel said police had not established a definitive link between these robbery suspects and the shooting.

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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A shooting victim was transported to the hospital with injuries after being found at Battles Road and Western Avenue in Santa Maria Tuesday morning.  (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

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