A man armed with a weapon was fatally shot Sunday night after he confronted police officers in Santa Maria and tried to break into an occupied apartment, according to the Santa Maria Police Department.
At approximately 10:20 p.m., an officer contacted a male suspect on the 1000 block of West Morrison Avenue, Cmdr. Dan Cohen said.
“During the encounter, the suspect threatened officers with a weapon and refused to comply with verbal commands, even after less-lethal impact projectiles were deployed,” Cohen said.
The man ran to a nearby apartment complex and hid behind a barrier.
“Over the course of the next two hours, officers attempted to de-escalate the situation, and brought in FBI-trained crisis negotiators, but still, he refused to disarm or surrender,” Cohen said.
“While armed, the suspect attempted to forcibly break into an apartment occupied by uninvolved residents, which led to an officer-involved shooting,” Cohen added.
The suspect died due to his injuries, police said.
His name was withheld pending notification of family members.
However, police said the man was on active probation for resisting officers by use of threat or force.
He also had an outstanding arrest warrant for violation of probation, police said..
“The Santa Maria Police Department takes use of force by its officers seriously, and will conduct an internal investigation to ensure department polices were properly followed,” Cohen added.
Additionally, an independent criminal investigation will be conducted by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff Office and later be reviewed by the county District Attorney’s Office to determine if the actions of the officers were lawful.
On Monday afternoon, Santa Maria police blocked a section of West Knudsen Way near South Western Avenue and sheriff’s investigators could be seen in a couple of areas of the nearby La Vista Apartments complex.
Police said no additional information would be released about the shooting at this time.