A man was fatally stabbed near Hendry’s Beach Thursday evening, and Santa Barbara authorities are still working to identify both the suspected stabber and the victim.
The incident occurred in the parking lot of the popular beach just before 6:30 p.m., and law enforcement arrived to find an “emotional” crowd of about 200 or 300 people, according to Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Drew Sugars. Emergency personnel, including firefighters from both the city and county (the area, officially known as Arroyo Burro Beach Park, is technically county land, although it’s just outside city limits), responded to the bloody scene. They worked on the male victim before he was taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Details remained sketchy as of 10 p.m. on Thursday night, and Sugars did not know the name or age of the victim and whether he died before reaching the hospital or once he arrived. He also had no information about possible suspects or any knowledge of the relationship between the victim and his attacker. Sugars did say that detectives were investigating the event as a homicide. There were many witnesses to the event, including people who appeared to be friends with the victim.
The parking lot nearest the beach was closed, but the Boathouse restaurant, which is located about 20 yards from the crime scene, remained open. As of 10 p.m. investigators, including a forensics unit, were on the scene trying to find out what happened.
Sugars encouraged anyone who witnessed what happened or knows people involved in the incident to call an anonymous tipline at (805) 681-4171.