A man killed a former friend in a Lompoc riverbed over an argument about a woman, then opened fire on police officers and died following a shootout Sunday morning, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.
The suspect, a 34-year-old Lompoc man, allegedly killed his romantic rival early in the morning in the Santa Ynez riverbed. Witnesses provided descriptions of the suspect to Lompoc police officers, and a Lompoc firefighter then spotted the man.
Several Lompoc police officers confronted the suspect shortly after 7 a.m. in the 700 block of North A Street within the city limits. The suspect refused to comply with the officers’ orders. He then turned toward the officers, raised had hand and fired a gun directly at the policemen, a Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office press release states.
The officers returned fire, striking the man multiple times. Upon determining the scene was safe, officers attempted lifesaving measures until paramedics arrived. Emergency personnel transported the man to a local hospital where he died of his injuries.
Sheriff’s investigators interviewed several nearby residents and processed the crime scene for evidence. Authorities recovered the suspect’s weapon from the scene.
The Lompoc Police Department is handling the homicide investigation, while the sheriff’s office is investigating the shootout between police and the murder suspect. Authorities are withholding the identities of the homicide victim and the suspect while relatives are notified.
Investigators request that anyone who witnessed the incident or has additional information the shootings contact the Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Bureau at (805) 934-6170.