Santa Barbara County crime spree leads to chase through SLO County

CORRECTION: The story initially stated the suspects were apprehended. One suspect was apprehended, while the other one was found dead.

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

A crime spree, which reportedly included a murder, shooting, robbery and carjacking, led to a chase through San Luis Obispo County Wednesday, ending with one suspect captured in Kern County and another one found dead. 

On Sunday, at about 9:40 p.m., a gunman shot and killed a 33-year-old man in the 500 block of N. K Street in Lompoc.

Then on Wednesday afternoon, callers reported another shooting in Lompoc. Following the shooting, the suspects were seen driving a 2011 dark blue BMW on N. E Street, according to a be-on-the-lookout issued to law enforcement agencies. 

At about 3 p.m., an armed robbery was reported at Houston Liquor on Avenue of the Flags in Buellton. Again, the suspects were seen driving off in a dark blue BMW.

At about 4 p.m., the SLO County Sheriff’s Office received information about two suspects wanted out of Santa Barbara County who were believed to have been involved in Sunday’s murder, as well as Wednesday’s shooting and armed robbery. The suspects also allegedly committed a carjacking on Wednesday.  

At about 4:40 p.m., sheriff’s deputies spotted the suspects’ vehicle near Highway 46 and Golden Hill Road in Paso Robles. The deputies lost sight of the vehicle, and additional deputies then came to assist, along with a CHP helicopter.

At about 5:30 p.m., authorities again located the suspects’ vehicle, which was traveling eastbound on Highway 46 near Mill Road. Deputies tried to stop the vehicle, and a high-speed pursuit ensued, according to the SLO County Sheriff’s Office.

The vehicle continued eastbound, leaving SLO County and entering Kern County. The suspects exited the vehicle and fled by foot into a nearby orchard. 

SLO County deputies established a perimeter around the orchard, while Kern County deputies responded to assist with the search. Authorities ultimately located the suspects, one of whom was apprehended. The other suspect was found dead of a gunshot wound. 

The SLO County Sheriff’s Office is working with law enforcement in Santa Barbara and Kern counties as they investigate the case and determined the appropriate charges to file.

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