Crime

Santa Barbara police surround home in connection with New Year's Day murder

One victim shot to death, another wounded

Santa Barbara police swarm an apartment unit linked to a killing earlier this week. (John Palminteri/KEYT photo)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - For the second time in a week, Santa Barbara police have returned to the area of Victoria and De La Vina Street in Santa Barbara where one person was shot and killed and another wounded on New Year's Day.

Police roped off the area near the crime scene with yellow caution tape and surrounded a home in the 200 block of W. Victoria Street where officers believe a suspect or suspects involved in the killing were holed up.

Police received a tip that someone may have entered the home being involved in the murder investigation and was possibly still inside the residence.

KEYT NewsChannel 3 Senior Reporter John Palminteri was on scene and reported that verbal callouts from police could be heard asking for anyone that may be inside the surrounded home come out with their hands up. Callouts were made both in English and Spanish.

Residents were locked down inside their homes once again. No one could go in or out. Police asked the public to stay away from the area for their safety and the safety of officers.

At about 2 p.m., police entered the home after no one answered their calls for surrender and did not find anyone. 

The deadly shooting occurred at about 3:30 a.m. Jan. 1, 2018 near the intersection of De La Vina and Victoria streets. A body was located in the 1300 block of De la Vina Street and a wounded victim in the 200 block of W. Victoria Street.

Investigators believe five shots were fired, two of which struck and killed one victim and a third bullet injured the second victim. That person was taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for medical treatment. Both victims were men and investigators also believe the suspect or suspects involved in this crime are men.

This homicide investigation is ongoing. The identities of the victims and suspect(s) have not been released by authorities at this time.

One resident, Peter Horjus said he has gone by the site when both police enforcements took place. "I went for a run the other day and I came back and there was caution tape and blood drops everywhere. It is a little disturbing for sure."

He said the police action with the SWAT team and heavily armed officers went "as planned. A lot of guns drawn.  It was pretty intense."

Down the street a resident who has lived in the area for years, Susan Statford said she is in the medical field and "I found it interesting the other day watching the forensics team out here, taking DNA and all the evidence."  She said the shooting was isolated to that apartment and she is not considering a move to another area.

One nearby resident across from the shooting scene has a broken window from a random bullet shot that was embedded in a wall near his bedroom.  That resident was not home at the time.


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