Gunman shot dead in clash with police in Santa Maria | Local News

A man with a gun was fatally shot on Sunday night after confronting police in Santa Maria and attempting to break into an occupied apartment, according to the Santa Maria Police Department.

At approximately 10:20 p.m., an officer contacted a male suspect in the 1000 block of West Morrison Avenue, Cmdr. said Dan Cohen.

“During the encounter, the suspect threatened officers with a weapon and refused to comply with verbal orders, even after the deployment of less lethal impact projectiles,” Cohen said.

The man ran to a nearby apartment complex and hid behind a barrier.

“Over the next two hours, officers attempted to defuse the situation and brought in FBI-trained crisis negotiators, but he still refused to disarm or surrender,” Cohen said.

“While armed, the suspect attempted to force his way into an apartment occupied by uninvolved residents, which led to a shooting involving an officer,” Cohen added.

The suspect died of his injuries, police said.

His name has been withheld pending notification of family members.

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A section of West Knudsen Way and South Western Avenue in Santa Maria was blocked Monday following a fatal shooting involving an officer the previous night. (Photo by Janene Scully/Noozhawk)

However, police said the man was on active probation for resisting officers by threat or force.

He also had an outstanding warrant for his probation violation, police said.

“The Santa Maria Police Department takes the use of force by its officers seriously and will conduct an internal investigation to ensure department policies were properly followed,” Cohen added.

In addition, an independent criminal investigation will be conducted by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office and later be reviewed by the county district attorney’s office to determine if the officers’ actions were legal.

On Monday afternoon, Santa Maria police blocked off a section of West Knudsen Way near South Western Avenue and sheriff’s investigators could be seen in a few areas of the nearby La Vista Apartments complex.

Police said no further information would be released about the shooting at this time.

Noozhawk North County Editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Login with Noozhawk on Facebook.