Teenage boy murdered in Santa Maria

A teenage boy was shot in Santa Maria Wednesday evening, and he later died in the hospital.

Shortly after 8 p.m., an unknown assailant shot the teen in the 300 block of W. Newlove Drive, according to the Santa Maria Police Department. Responders found the victim on a sidewalk and transported him to the hospital, but doctors were not able to save him.

It is unclear whether Santa Maria police have identified a suspect or suspects. Investigators have yet to determine a motive for the shooting.

Authorities are withholding the victim’s identity while the family receives notification of the death. Investigators request that anyone who has information about the murder call the police department at (805) 928-3781.

Following a relatively calm first 7.5 months of the year, there have been numerous shooting and stabbings in Santa Maria, most of which have not resulted in fatalities. Thursday’s homicide is at least the third murder in Santa Maria of 2017.  The first two occurred in late August and early September.

In 2015, the city had 13 murders, and in 2016, there were at least nine homicides in Santa Maria.