Tuesday, February 20 , 2018, 11:45 pm | Mostly Cloudy 44º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Man Airlifted to Hospital After Being Shot in Head in Santa Maria

Shooting apparently was preceeded by an altercation; alert issued for suspect vehicle, a white extended-cab pickup

Firefighters and paramedics wheel a man who was shot in the head Thursday in Santa Maria to a waiting medical helicopter for the flight to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.
Firefighters and paramedics wheel a man who was shot in the head Thursday in Santa Maria to a waiting medical helicopter for the flight to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

A man who was shot in the head Thursday afternoon during an altercation at a busy gas station in Santa Maria was airlifted to a Santa Barbara hospital.

Police, firefighters and paramedics were dispatched shortly after 4 p.m. to the Conserv Fuel gas station at 910 E. Betteravia Road.

The victim, a man believed to be in his 40s who was in a black SUV at a gas pump, suffered a head wound.

A Calstar medical helicopter was dispatched to the scene, and airlifted the victim to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

Uniformed police officers and detectives who arrived at the gas station fanned out to speak to witnesses at the scene.

Details on the circumstances of the shooting were not immediately available beyond police saying an altercation occurred, leading to a gunshot through a window in the vehicle.

A BOL alert was issued for a suspect vehicle, a white extended-cab pickup with two men and a woman inside that was last seen eastbound on Betteravia, according to police.

Onlookers watch with concern Thursday after a man was shot in the head during a dispute at a Santa Maria gas station. Click to view larger
Onlookers watch with concern Thursday after a man was shot in the head during a dispute at a Santa Maria gas station. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

The suspected shooter was described by police only as a Hispanic male, accompanied by a Hispanic female and another person.

Sgt. Paul Flores added that the pickup was believed to be an American-made vehicle, and was last seen traveling eastbound on Betteravia Road, with police suspecting the truck entered the nearby Highway 101.

Betteravia Road was shut down in the area for a time, allowing the medical helicopter to land at the intersection with Bradley Road. 

As crews moved the patient to the waiting helicopter, a group of people, apparently family or friends of the victim, ran toward the stretcher, but were held back by police officers.

The victim's name was not released by police, who said his condition was not believed to be life-threatening.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton 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.

Family members look on as a gunshot victim is loaded into a Calstar medical helicopter for transport to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. Click to view larger
Family members look on as a gunshot victim is loaded into a Calstar medical helicopter for transport to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)
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