Local News

Solano County Amber Alert Suspect Dies in Solvang Police Shootout

15-Year-Old Girl Abducted From Solano County

Amber Alert Suspect Dies in Solvang Police Shootout


[9:15 p.m. PDT] The Solano County Sheriff's Office confirmed the suspect in today's pursuit and officer-involved shooting was in fact, Fernando Castro, 19, of Vallejo, California.

The Sheriff's Office also confirmed that both, the victim, 15-year-old Pearl Pinson, and Castro were acquaintances. Authorities did not believe Pearl was in the car with the suspect at the time the pursuit began.

According to the Solano County Sheriff's Office, Castro's gold Saturn was spotted by surveillance cameras in the area of Sir Frances Drake Boulevard near the San Rafael Bridge in Marin County around 9:30 a.m. Thursday. The Saturn was then spotted in San Luis Obispo county where a vehicle pursuit took authorities and the suspect into Santa Barbara County.

Castro was ultimately shot and killed by Santa Barbara County Sheriff's deputies in a shootout with the suspect in Solvang.

No law enforcement officers or residents were injured during this confrontation. A handgun was recovered from the scene.

Pearl Pinson has not been located at this time, and Solano County Sheriff's officials do not believe she was with Castro inside the car at the time of the pursuit in SLO and Santa Barbara counties.

Investigators had been concentrating their search efforts in Vallejo and Marin County where the Saturn was originally spotted, but authorities have now expanded their search to every nook and cranny that includes Santa Barbara and SLO counties. Search efforts have been suspended for the night but will resume early Friday morning.

Anyone with information on Pearl's whereabouts is urged to contact the Pearl Pinson Tipline at 707-784-1963, or call your local law enforcement agency, or call 911.

[7:20 p.m. PDT] Listen to a moment-by-moment police emergency radio broadcast as law enforcement chase the suspect and corner him at a mobile park in Solvang. Access the audio clip below, or Click Here.

Police Radio Audio: Amber Alert Suspect Pursuit, Shooting in Solvang

Additionally, NewsChannel 3 acquired witness video from the scene as gunfire erupts after the suspect attempts to drive away from the mobile home park. Watch the video by clicking HERE. Viewer discretion advised.

[5:40 p.m. PDT] Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Public Information Officer Kelly Hoover held an impromptu press conference Thursday afternoon in which she confirmed the suspect, believed to be Fernando Castro out of Solano County, died from apparent gunshot wounds.

"Citizens of Solvang can feel safe right now...there is no concern for the area," said Hoover. She continued telling reporters that law enforcement believe this was the only suspect involved and there are no outstanding suspects.

Hoover said the suspect ditched his car after crashing it at a mobile home park in Solvang and ran inside a mobile home. A female occupant of the mobile home ran out.

Hoover also confirmed an exchange of gun fire between Sheriff's deputies and the suspect, who was first spotted traveling southbound on U.S. Highway 101 just north of Los Alamos. Hoover would not confirm the suspect's identity only saying that the suspect vehicle matched the description and license plate number of the vehicle where a kidnapped 15-year-old girl was last seen been dragged into.

The kidnap victim has not been found at this time.

[4:30 p.m. PDT] Medics on scene confirmed the suspect is dead following an officer-involved shooting at a Solvang mobile home park.  New photos from Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department, shows law enforcement in pursuit of the suspect believed to be 19-year-old Fernando Castro. The teen abducted from Solano County has not been located at this time.

[4:03 p.m. PDT] Suspect is reportedly not moving, slumped over the steering wheel of the pickup after shots fired.

[4:01 p.m. PDT] Suspect reportedly climbed inside a pickup truck and is trying to flee from police. Shots have once again been fired. We have a news crew on the way to the scene and we will have more information as it comes into our newsroom.

[3:52 p.m. PDT] Law enforcement will reportedly conduct evacuations of the trailer park where male suspect is holed up after shots were fired.

[3:42 p.m. PDT] Suspect is armed and dangerous. Residents are being told to shelter in place. Authorities will be closing the immediate area to traffic.

[3:36 p.m. PDT] A reverse 911 is being sent out to all residents in the immediate area of Val Verde and Fjord Drive in Solvang. Residents are advised to stay inside their homes as law enforcement heavily converges at a nearby trailer park where the suspect is believed to be holed up inside one of the trailers.

[3:30 p.m. PDT] Suspect has ditched his vehicle and is fleeing on foot. Suspect is actively firing at officers.

[3:25 p.m. PDT] A police pursuit for the suspected child abductor, Fernando Castro, has entered eastbound Highway 246 towards the Santa Ynez Valley.

MAP: Police pursuit, shooting in Solvang


Shortly after 3 p.m., Santa Barbara County Sheriff's deputies reportedly spotted the golden four-door Saturn involved in the Amber Alert out of Solano County in Los Alamos.

Air support was called to assist, and local California Highway Patrol officers are also in pursuit of the suspect vehicle.

The pursuit is heading southbound along U.S. Highway 101 towards Buellton with spike strips reportedly set up at several locations.

We will update this story as new information becomes available.



The California Highway Patrol has issued an Amber Alert for 15-year-old Pearl Pinson, pictured above.

Pinson was abducted from Solano County near Sacramento on May 25 at 6:45 a.m. by a Hispanic male suspect identified as 19-year-old Fernando Castro.

Pearl Pinson is described as a white female, 5 feet 3 inches tall, weighing 130 pounds, with brown hair (dyed green), and green eyes. She was last seen wearing a grey sweater, black leggins, and a black and turquoise backpack.

Castro is described  as being 5 feet and 6 inches tall, weighing 148 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and glasses.

Authorities say that Castro should be considered armed and dangerous.

The suspect was last seen driving a 1997 gold four-door Saturn with the California license plate number: 5XZD385

Anyone with information on Pinson or Castro's whereabouts is urged to call 9-1-1 immediately.

comments powered by Disqus

Top Local Stories