Four Suspects Arrested in Fatal Milpas Street Stabbing

Four Suspects Arrested in Fatal Milpas Street Stabbing title=
Homicide crime scene on Milpas Street (Photo: John Palminteri)
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Update by the Santa Barbara Police Department
March 23, 2022

In the early morning of March 20, 2022, a homicide occurred in the 500 block of North Milpas Street. A male victim, Valentine Hernandez, a 40-year-old Port Hueneme resident was stabbed after a confrontation. Hernandez was transported to the hospital but tragically died from his wounds.
 
Santa Barbara Police Department Detectives worked this case tirelessly resulting in the arrest of four suspects over the course of the last three days:

  • Carlos Rios Zavala, 53-year-old Santa Barbara resident. Charged with felony Murder – Bail $2,000,000. Zavala was arrested on March 22, 2022, in the 400 block of South C Street, Oxnard. 

  • Alejandro Mendoza Zarco, 44-year-old Santa Barbara resident. Charged with felony Conspiracy (relating to the murder) – Bail $2,000,000. Zarco was arrested on March 20, 2022, in the 1000 block of East Montecito Street, Santa Barbara. 

  • Leticia Munoz, 60-year-old Oxnard resident. Charged with felony Conspiracy (relating to the murder) – Bail $1,000,000. Munoz was arrested on March 22, 2022, in the 400 block of South C Street, Oxnard.

  • Jesus Manuel Zavala-Zazueta, 45-year-old Port Hueneme resident. Charged with felony Conspiracy (relating to the murder) – Bail $2,000,000. Zavala-Zazueta was arrested on March 22, 2022, near the intersection of Cook and Chino Street, Santa Barbara. 

Though several suspects have been arrested, this case is still under investigation and more follow-ups will be conducted. As stated in the previous release this homicide does not appear to be gang related.


Victim Dies in Milpas Street Stabbing

Update by the Santa Barbara Police Department
March 20, 2022

On March 20, 2022, around 2:00 am, the Santa Barbara Police Department’s Combined Communications Center received a report of an assault that occurred with a deadly weapon in the 500 block of North Milpas Street.
 
Multiple officers responded to the scene and located a victim who had been stabbed. The victim was transported by ambulance to Cottage Hospital Emergency Room for medical treatment. Tragically, the victim died from the injuries they sustained.
 
The initial investigation revealed the victim, and the suspect had some sort of confrontation prior to the stabbing. After the stabbing occurred, the suspect fled the area and is currently outstanding. Detectives are actively investigating this homicide. There does not appear to be any current threat to the public. It is believed to be an isolated incident and does not appear to be gang related.
 
If anyone has information about this homicide, please call the Santa Barbara Police Department at 805-897-2355.
 
The name of the victim is being withheld pending next of kin notifications. No other information is available currently.


Reported by edhat readers

  • Stabbing on Milpas Street early this morning.

  • 200am in the 500 block of Milpas, some kind of an assault. Cops have the area taped off and are interviewing witnesses

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bicyclist Mar 20, 2022 02:41 PM
Four Suspects Arrested in Fatal Milpas Street Stabbing

Thanks for the "Update SBPD", but: the 3rd sentence in the 3rd Paragraph seems to counter the JP quote: "2nd homicide this week in Santa Barbara. Sunday morning about 2 a.m" from his Twitter page. Not that JP (John Palminteri) is the more "Creditable source", but 2 per week IS a " threat to the public" in my book!
sorry it took so long to post this as Michigan State vs Duke is on!!!

a-1647835501 Mar 20, 2022 09:05 PM
Four Suspects Arrested in Fatal Milpas Street Stabbing

I think it's fair to deduce that they mean they don't think it was random. You're still just as much in danger as you ever were from the people you know (your most likely killer), but as far as the police know, there is no serial killer roaming the streets preying on random people. Seems reasonable to me.

Sail380 Mar 25, 2022 12:17 PM
Four Suspects Arrested in Fatal Milpas Street Stabbing

Good Idea OLDWAVE, Selling my two income properties and moving as we speak. Feel sorry for my tenants as they were paying under market and probably cant afford to stay. Happy for the current spike in real estate prices. No need to hold the door, I found the way out!!

Mebk Mar 21, 2022 08:06 AM
Four Suspects Arrested in Fatal Milpas Street Stabbing

Hard to hear our beautiful city is becoming so unsafe.stabbing shootings, armed robberies at restaurants,hit and runs weekly. Hope we do not become so custom to hearing this that it becomes the norm. We must hold people accountable for crimes, help our police so they can do their jobs. They put their life on the line for us going after criminals and they they are just released back into the city. NOVEMBER

Gimli Mar 21, 2022 10:06 AM
Four Suspects Arrested in Fatal Milpas Street Stabbing

Unfortunately this happened, but it is nothing new for this to happen on that particular block of Milpas St. (500 N.). This sort of violence has been happening as far back I can remember back in the 60's when I was a kid residing just 2 1/2 blocks northeast. The nightclub, 'La Pachanga' (has gone through different names in the 60's, 70's and 80's) and the Mecca bar out in the parking lot out back. Mostly on the weekends, but not every single weekend. Also there was a Latino bar around East Haley and Nopal streets that was called 'Club 21' that had a lot of fights, stabbings and on occasions some shootings during the 60's and 70's. I do not know exactly when it was closed down, but good thing it was. 'La Pachanga' and the 'Mecca' should be shut down. 'La Pachanga' at one time was the 'king's Supper Club' back in the 50's and from what I was told it was a very classy place. Men could not get in without wearing a tie. That place would make a good Jazz & and Blues Nightclub. And the 'Mecca' would make a good English or Irish Pub. Maybe some day that would happen.

doulie Mar 24, 2022 09:33 AM
Four Suspects Arrested in Fatal Milpas Street Stabbing

GIMLI - not sure about the dress code at the supper club but when it transitioned, later to DaPra's, there were "victimless" crimes occurring upstairs. Some women were plying their trade, late sixties and early seventies. Save for the occasional bar fight the area was relatively quiet. You likely recall some businesses back in the day on the same side of the street as the Mecca. Kitlers Hardware, Felix Shoe Repair, Salvation Army Thrift Store, Roden's Furniture and a pharmacy at the corner of Haley & Milpas. Too many little "wannabe's" running around thinking they're something. The area has definitely turned to schiff.

JB86 Mar 24, 2022 12:43 AM
Four Suspects Arrested in Fatal Milpas Street Stabbing

I'm curious about what the criminal connections are between and among SB, Oxnard, and Port Hueneme? This is not the first murder that involved people from these areas, occurring here in SB. Is it about drugs?

rwelsh Mar 24, 2022 06:25 AM
Four Suspects Arrested in Fatal Milpas Street Stabbing

We lived about 5 blocks up from there and walked up and down Milpas all the time. The amount of seedy bars on Milpas is just gross and completely unnecessary. The hundreds of lunchtime high school kids at the intersections that don't care what color the light is, the big girl dancing during the days by the roundabout, the beggars, the smell of urine, the armed robbery at TJ's, the closed up shops, the hispanic clothing stores with mannequins outside wearing hooker garb... it all got to be a bit much. We moved to Goleta and are very happy.

Lucky 777 Mar 24, 2022 10:18 AM
Four Suspects Arrested in Fatal Milpas Street Stabbing

I once had a business on the 400 block of East Haley across the street from Las Conchas, a wild transvestite hooker bar now closed. This was pre-EdHat, and the bodies I saw being hauled out didn't make the News-Suppress. I was told people going there would carry knives wrapped in newspaper in case they needed to "defend themselves" and leave no fingerprints. One night a raging guy covered in blood staggered into my studio, we chased him out and called for an ambulance, but then they took him away in a police car. He wasn't injured, it wasn't his blood. The bodies were in a nearby park. Murders happen here just like Lompoc and Santa Maria, the only difference is whether we are made aware of them by media.

doulie Mar 24, 2022 12:10 PM
Four Suspects Arrested in Fatal Milpas Street Stabbing

Lucky - Ah, yes. Haley was alive with "people" in thigh length patent leather boots, short shorts and wearing wigs of all sizes and shapes and glitter. Your business across from Las Conchas, the Mexican restaurant or was it after A&W pulled out?

Gimli Mar 25, 2022 09:22 AM
Four Suspects Arrested in Fatal Milpas Street Stabbing

DOULIE - I do remember Kitler's Hardware Store, Felix Shoe Store and the pharmacy on the corner of N. Milpas and E. Haley. That was Overton's Pharmacy. I use to go there to thumb through comic books (and read some of them) as well as Mad Magazine, the Monster Magazines and the Private Detective Magazines. Mr. Overton, the pharmacist did mine that I was doing that. He never told me not to do that and to leave. Also there was a Pet Store there just one or two doors from the Mecca. And where O'Reilly's Auto Parts is that use to be G & M Market (half the building) the other half was a laundry mat. And of course I do remember the original owners of Pat's Liquor Store, Pat and Jack. They were brothers and they knew me, because I use to go there a lot, and when my mom use to smoke cigarettes (Salem) my mom would write a note with her signature giving me permission to by a pack for her. Sometimes they would give a bit of s*** if my mom's signature on the note was real or I forged it myself. In a humorous way of course. 35 cents for a pack of cigarettes back then. Many kids parents did send them to a neighborhood market or liquor store with a note to buy a pack of smokes for them back in those days. Yes, in some ways I do have some fond memories of what the Milpas area use to be like when I was a kid back in the 60's. At one time there were about 13 gas stations on Milpas St. I did love the smell of 100 percent of leaded fuel when I use to walk or ride my bike right by them.

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