By JOSH FRIEDMAN
Santa Maria police shot and killed an armed suspect who allegedly tried to break into an occupied apartment early Monday morning.
At approximately 10:21 p.m. on Sunday, a Santa Maria police officer contacted a man during an investigation in the 1000 block of W. Morrison Avenue. During the encounter, the suspect threatened officers with an unidentified weapon and refused to comply with verbal commands, according to the Santa Maria Police Department.
Officers fired less lethal projectiles, but the suspect sill would not comply. The man fled to a nearby apartment complex, where he hid behind a barrier.
For the next two hours, officers attempted to deescalate the situation. Police brought in FBI-trained crisis negotiators, but the suspect still refused to disarm or surrender.
While still armed, the man attempted to forcibly break into an apartment that was occupied by residents uninvolved in the incident. That led to an officer or officers shooting the suspect, police said.
The suspect died of his injuries. Authorities are currently withholding the man’s name while his family is notified of his death.
At the time of his death, the suspect was on active probation for resisting officers by use of threats or force. The suspect also had an outstanding arrest warrant for violation of probation, police said.
The police department is conducting an internal investigation of the shooting. Likewise, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office will conduct an independent criminal investigation. The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office will later review the sheriff’s office investigation to determine whether the actions of the officers involved in the shooting were lawful.