Additional Arrests Made in Eastside's Double Homicide

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By edhat staff

The Santa Barbara Police Department announced additional arrests relating to the double homicide on Santa Barbara's Eastside in January.

Santa Barbara Police responded to the 1200 block of Liberty Street during the early evening hours of January 3, 2021 where four people were shot. Angel Castillo, 17, and Omar Montiel-Hernandez, 18, died that night.

Police searched the area for the suspects that were seen fleeing on foot but none were apprehended that night. 

On April 8, 2021, the Santa Barbara Police Department, assisted by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, and the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office, arrested three suspects for the homicides of Castillo and Montiel-Hernandez, as well as the attempted murder of three additional victims, age 16, 17, and 18 years old (names withheld). Police and SWAT teams served warrants related to the investigation at two locations in the 1000 block of Cramer Road in Carpinteria and a residence under construction in the 2300 block of Golden Gate Ave in Summerland.  

Angel Eduardo Varela (DOB 1-3-95), Oscar Martin Trujillo-Gutierrez (DOB 11-20-95), and Emilio Perez (DOB 3-11-2003), all Carpinteria residents, were arrested on warrants for 187 PC Murder, 190.2 (a) (3) Special Circumstances of committing more than one murder, 190 (a) (22) PC Special circumstances: murder committed by an active participant in a gang to further the activities of the gang, 12022.53 (e) (1) PC Special allegation: use of a gun in association with a criminal street gang, 186.22 (b) (1) PC Special allegation: felony committed in association with a criminal street gang, and 664/187 PC attempt murder with premeditation and deliberation.

Later on April 8th, Santa Barbara Police Detectives additionally arrested 35-year old Fernando Gutierrez, a Carpinteria resident, in the 1100 block of Mark Avenue, Carpinteria. Gutierrez is believed to have a gang association with the homicide suspects. Gutierrez was booked at the Santa Barbara County Jail on $500,000 bail. Current charges include, Felon in Possession of a Firearm – 29800(a)(1) PC (Felony), Felon in Possession of Ammunition – 30305(a)(1) (Felony), Street Terrorism – Active Participant in Criminal Street Gang – 186.22 PC (Felony), and Possession of an Assault Weapon – 30605(a) PC (Felony).

On April 12, 2021 around 0800am, Santa Barbara Police Detectives served an additional search warrant in the City of Ventura. 30-year-old Edgardo Romero, a Ventura resident, was arrested in the 600 block of Empire Avenue.  Romero was booked at the Santa Barbara County Jail and is being held without bail.  Current Charges include, Accessory to Murder - 32 PC (Felony), Unlawful Assault Weapon Activity - 30600(a) PC (Felony), Unlawful Possession of an Assault Weapon - 30605(a) PC (Felony), and Unlawful Manufacture of a Firearm - 29180(b) PC (Misdemeanor).

During the search and arrest warrants, the Santa Barbara Police Department stated it seized three non-serialized assault-type rifles, one revolver, three semi-automatic handguns, sixteen high capacity assault rifle magazines, one high capacity handgun drum magazine, eight bulletproof vests (most with steel plate armor), over 2,400 rounds of assorted live ammunition (high velocity rifle & handgun ammunition) and significant gang-related indicia.

Above are photos of evidence seized during the search and arrest warrants, although the Santa Barbara Police Department clarifies the photos do not depict all the evidence seized.

Even though additional arrests have been made in this case, the Santa Barbara Police Department is still actively investigating leads and will provide more information if it becomes available.


 January 3, 2021: Two Dead and Two More Injured in Eastside Shooting

 April 8, 2021: Three Arrests Made in Eastside Double Homicide

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CoastWatch Apr 28, 2021 05:56 PM
Additional Arrests Made in Eastside's Double Homicide

This proves to me that Law Enforcement knows exactly who, where and what active gang members are doing- ALL THE TIME. It's a weird cat and mouse game at the expense of a virtually open illegal drug trade among pretty much any other illegal activity gangs are involved with. Unfortunately, most of their victims are the poor Hispanic population that live in our communities.

edney Apr 28, 2021 07:43 PM
Additional Arrests Made in Eastside's Double Homicide

Romero's bail is only $10,000 for weapons charges? Seems low.
He'll be out in days, not months.

Gutierrez bail is $500K so it may be months before he is released... an old friend of mine has bail of $1.3M for a robbery/weapons charge no one was hurt. Sometimes you can tell how serious the DA is by the bail amounts. $500K doesn't seem like much for accessory to murder with gun charges, but who knows...

edney Apr 29, 2021 02:45 PM
Additional Arrests Made in Eastside's Double Homicide

Not really
When I used to train, we'd shoot 200-300 rounds of NATO 5.56.
Marines carry at least 210 rounds into a fight and the whole squad may or may not hit anyone even with their magic black assault rifles that mow down people by the hundreds in the movies and never need reloading.
Don't get me wrong, I am glad that those weapons and that ammo is taken out of the hands of fools, but I've got friends that have multiple US Military surplus ammo cans holding 1000 rounds. Expert (and Average) shooters train with a lot of ammo in order to be proficient and safe in case they need to use their weapon.
I consider over 5,000 rounds to be a lot of ammo, but others may set the bar at 10,000.
Shooting 300 once a month is 3600 rounds and its cheaper to buy bulk ammo than a box at a time

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