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Santa Maria Police Identify Officers Who Shot, Killed Homicide Suspect

The Santa Maria Police Department has released the identities of the two officers involved in a fatal shooting of a man suspected of killing a woman in Santa Maria last week.

Officer Nathan Totorica, a police officer with the city since 2008, and Officer Raymon Easter, a police officer with the agency since 2010, were involved in the June 5 shooting, Lt. Mark Norling said Thursday.

He added that both officers were placed on administrative leave during the investigative process, which is standard after an officer-involved shooting. 

The men responded to a reported stabbing in the 300 block of West Williams Street about 9:30 p.m. last Friday.

In an effort to take the armed suspect into custody, the two officers were involved in a shooting, fatally wounding 50-year-old Jesus Quezada Gomez. 

He told officers he had several firearms and threatened to shoot anyone who came close to the residence.

Santa Maria police discovered Teresa Meza, 41, had been stabbed multiple times in what officers are calling a domestic violence homicide based on the relationship between the victim and her alleged assailant.

She was found dead inside the residence, police said.

Santa Maria police are investigating the woman's death, and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department will investigate the officer-involved shooting, Norling said.

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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