Suspect dies after shootout with police near Goleta

A 32-year-old man, whom Santa Barbara police were seeking to arrest Tuesday at an apartment near Goleta, engaged in a gun battle with officers, after which a long SWAT standoff ensued and the suspect was eventually found dead. 

Authorities have identified the deceased man as Francisco Anthony Alcaraz, Jr. It is unclear whether Alcaraz was struck and killed during the shootout or whether he shot himself.

At about 12:45 p.m., Santa Barbara police officers, including members of the department’s SWAT and Crisis Negotiation Team, tried to conduct a high-risk search and serve an arrest warrant for Alcaraz in an apartment located off Camino De Vida and Turnpike Road, according to the county sheriff’s office. While police were trying to serve the warrant, Alcaraz and officers exchanged gunfire. 

Authorities sent residents in the area an emergency notification to shelter in place and placed nearby San Marcos High School on lockdown.

The Sheriff’s Special Enforcement Team; a county helicopter; sheriff’s and police K-9 teams; county fire personnel; and American Medical Response all came out to provide assistance. CHP officers also helped with traffic control, and authorities closed Highway 101 in both directions between Turnpike Road and Patterson Avenue.

As Santa Barbara police tried to make contact with Alcaraz, authorities evacuated residents in the apartment complex. Public safety personnel used Bearcats, a jail transportation bus and several MTD buses to transport residents to a safe location.

After an extended period of time passed without Alcaraz responding, a sheriff’s bomb squad robot then went inside to determine the status of the status of the suspect. At about 3:40 p.m., authorities determined Alcaraz was dead.

The sheriff’s office is investigating the shooting. Officials are not releasing additional details about the shooting.