Santa Maria Sun / News
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 22
Sheriff's Department probes 2012's seventh officer-involved shooting
BY JEREMY THOMAS
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department is investigating yet another officer-involved shooting, the seventh overall—and the sixth fatal incident—involving local law enforcement this year.
Police say 37-year-old Robert Padilla Reyes confronted officers with a fake gun after leading authorities on a multi-county chase on Aug. 2. The pursuit began just after 6 p.m., when the Santa Maria Police Department received a 911 call from a motorist claiming a man had brandished a handgun near the intersection of Mill and School roads.
Officers located Reyes and attempted to pull his car over, but according to investigators, the suspect instead led police on an hour-long chase into San Luis Obispo County, through Guadalupe, and finally back to unincorporated Santa Maria.
California Highway Patrol officers successfully punctured the suspect’s tires with a “spike strip,” on Highway 1 south of Black Road, stopping his car. Reyes, police allege, got out of the car and confronted officers with what they believed to be a gun. Police opened fire, killing Reyes at the scene.
Investigators later discovered the gun to be a “replica,” Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Mark Williams said in a press release. Williams did not offer any more information on the incident.
The officers involved in the shooting have yet to be identified pending an investigation by the Sheriff’s Department, which is already saddled with multiple cases. The Santa Maria Police Department is also conducting its own internal investigation.