Armed carjacking ends in officer involved shooting

By the Santa Maria Police Department

On 12/15/22 at approximately 1730 hours, SMPD received a call of an armed carjacking that occurred in the 200 block of E. McElhaney Ave. A male suspect stole the victim’s vehicle at gunpoint and drove away from the scene. An SMPD patrol officer located the stolen vehicle nearby and attempted a traffic stop. The suspect led officers on a vehicle pursuit through the city which ended when the suspect crashed the stolen vehicle in the parking lot of a business in the 800 block of W. Cook Street.

The suspect exited the stolen vehicle armed with a handgun leading to an officer-involved shooting. The suspect then fled running to a nearby business where he threatened the business owner with the handgun. A struggle occurred during which the business owner disarmed the suspect. He was then taken into custody without further incident.
The suspect, Francisco Gomez, a 24-year-old resident of Santa Maria, is in stable condition at an area hospital after being treated for his injuries. Gomez will be facing multiple felony charges, including carjacking, evading, false imprisonment, burglary, and assault with a deadly weapon.

Further investigation revealed the handgun used by Gomez was a BB gun that closely resembled a realistic firearm.

All incidents involving the use of deadly force by Santa Maria police officers are thoroughly investigated and reviewed. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff detectives will be conducting a criminal investigation into the actions of the officers.  That investigation will then be reviewed by the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office to determine if the use of deadly force was lawful. In addition, the Santa Maria Police Department will be conducting an internal investigation in the incident to evaluate it from the perspective of policy, equipment, tactics, and training.

The officer involved in the shooting has been place on administrative leave. This is an active an on-going investigation, so no additional information will be released at this time. Although no additional information will be released, questions should be directed to Commander Dan Cohen, at (805) 928-3781, x1234.


Written by SantaMariaPolice

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