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Saturday, February 16 , 2019, 8:17 am | A Few Clouds 49º


Suspect Arrested in Fatal Shooting in Santa Maria

The victim, identified as Alejandro Diaz Alvarez, was found dead in the parking lot of the La Vista apartments on West Morrison Avenue

Police are investigating a fatal shooting that occurred early Monday at an apartment complex on West Morrison Avenue in Santa Maria.
Police are investigating a fatal shooting that occurred early Monday at an apartment complex on West Morrison Avenue in Santa Maria. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

Wilfredo Rodriguez Chicas

Santa Maria police have arrested a suspect in the fatal shooting of a man in an apartment complex parking lot early Monday. 

After receiving reports of shots fired at 4:49 a.m. Monday, officers arrived in the 900 block of West Morrison Avenue where they found the victim, an adult male, in the parking lot of the La Vista Santa Maria Southeast Community.

The shooting site is near Knudsen Way.

“The victim sustained a gunshot wound and succumbed to his injuries,” Lt. Marc Schneider said.

The victim was identified late Tuesday as Alejandro Diaz Alvarez, 39, of Santa Maria. His name has been withheld pending notification of his family.

Shortly after 6 p.m. Monday, police arrested Wilfredo Rodriguez Chicas, 27, of Santa Maria as the prime suspect in the case, according to Sgt. Robert Morris.

"At this time, no additional suspects are being sought," Morris said. "The motive for the shooting is still under investigation, as this is an active and ongoing investigation."

Chicas was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of homicide, with bail set at $1 million.

Officers also cordoned off one apartment nearby while awaiting a warrant to search the residence.

Police said the investigation is ongoing, and are asking that anyone with information related to this case contact the agency at 805.928.3781, ext. 297 or Crime Stoppers at 1.877.800.9100.

Police tape is wrapped across a door at an apartment complex in Santa Maria where a man was found shot to death early Monday. Police were waiting for a warrant to search the apartment. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

Monday’s shooting site is a couple of blocks from the location of another homicide that reportedly remains unsolved from last year.

On Dec. 22, police found a shooting victim in a parked car in the 1000 block of West Morrison Avenue.  

Police later identified the victim as Pedro Antonio Lainez-Lopez, 28, of Santa Maria. He was killed on the day before his birthday.

This week, a memorial near the shooting site remains in place on a utility pole with several candles, deflated balloons and hearts remembering the victim.

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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