Citing transparency, Santa Maria police on Tuesday released video showing the shooting of an armed man who pointed a weapon — later deemed a replica — in an officer’s direction after disobeying multiple orders, leading to him being wounded.

The video is from a patrol vehicle dash camera showing the June 21 encounter that left a man wounded on Preisker Lane, near the intersection of North Broadway.

It is posted on the department’s website and on YouTube with viewer discretion warnings because of the content.

“There’s understandably considerable public attention on and interest in police use of force,” Chief Phil Hansen said in the video. “The Santa Maria Police Department trains and requires that force is only to be used to protect officers or citizens in the immediate defense of life or to protect serious bodily injury.”

The video, available in English and Spanish, also included a recording of the call to police dispatchers revealing the reports that led police to the neighborhood.

On Father’s Day afternoon, callers reported a man waving a gun at Boomer’s Miniature Golf Arcade, 2250 N. Preisker Lane. At the urging of dispatchers, employees and customers sheltered inside the building behind locked doors.

Officer Ethan Brown, who joined the force three years ago, spotted the subject near a Wendy’s restaurant and shouted about 20 orders in both English and Spanish telling the man to get on the ground, sit down or drop the gun.

As a steady stream of vehicles traveled along Preisker Lane, the man did not comply with the officers’ orders, including, “Do not grab the gun.”

“The shooting occurred when the suspect pulled the gun out of his waistband and extended his arm toward the officer with the gun in his hand,” Sgt. Felix Diaz said.

The video shows the man lifting his shirt, touching the weapon with his right hand and later removing it with his left hand before pointing it in the officer’s direction.

Officers immediately rendered medical aid to the suspect, identified as 32-year-old Domingo Perez Montejo. He was taken to Marian Regional Medical Center for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

They later determined that Montejo had been equipped with a replica 9mm Baretta pistol, showing side-by-side photos of the imitation weapon and its real counterpart.

It wasn’t officers’ first encounter with Montego, with police logging 26 contacts since 2016, Diaz said.

Montejo’s record includes public intoxication, disorderly conduct, drug possession and more. 

In January, officers responded to another incident, also captured on dash cam video, involving a man waving a firearm. When officers contacted him, Montejo did not make any threatening motions and gently placed the weapon on the sidewalk. The weapon he had at that incident also was a replica, this time an imitation machine pistol.

“During that encounter, a Spanish-speaking officer advised him how dangerous it was to be carrying an imitation firearm,” Diaz said.

No criminal charges have been filed against Montejo for the June 21 incident. At least one prior case landed Montejo in substance abuse treatment court.

The police chief said the department has collaborated with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department Behavioral Sciences Unit to provide “much-needed mental health services to Mr. Montejo.”

“It’s a tragedy whenever there’s an officer-involved shooting — for those involved, for the officer, for the police department and for our community,” Hansen said, adding that the agency’s leaders will review all aspects of the incident.

He said use-of-force incidents remain rare in Santa Maria. Since 2016, the agency officers have shot three suspects, two fatally, among 380,000 calls for service.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department and the District Attorney’s Office are reviewing the June 21 shooting. The police department also will review the case and determine whether the use of force complied with the agency’s policies.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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Janene Scully | Noozhawk North County Editor

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at