Man shoots and kills his wife near Santa Maria


A man shot and killed his wife inside a home in the Tanglewood area near the Santa Maria Airport Sunday night, and then he confessed the killing to deputies, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office. 

Shortly before 11 p.m., a 911 caller reported a domestic dispute in the 1800 block of Ironwood Drive in rural Santa Maria. Deputies arrived and spoke with 63-year-old Eladio Herrera, who was sitting in a car in front of the home. 

Herrera told deputies he shot his wife, 38-year-old Dolores Reyes, inside the home, the sheriff’s office stated in a press release. Deputies detained Herrera, entered the home and began life-saving measures on Reyes, who appeared to have sustained several gunshot wounds to the chest. 

County fire personnel and paramedics arrived at the scene shortly afterwards and took over caring for Reyes. Emergency medical personnel pronounced Reyes dead at about 11:33 p.m. 

A sheriff’s volunteer chaplain and a social services worker came to the home to provide support to Reyes’s family members, who were at the scene.

Deputies booked Herrera at the Southern Branch Jail on a murder charge, where he is being held in lieu of a $2 million bail.

It is not believed there are any outstanding suspects in the case. Detectives are investigating the circumstances surrounding the murder.

A coroner’s investigation will determine Reyes’s official cause and manner of death. An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday, with the findings expected to be finalized about six weeks later.