Shots Fired in Isla Vista

Man Arrested After 5-hour Standoff

Thomas Christensen, 21, was arrested after shooting at least nine shots into the air on the 6500 block of Sabado Tarde Road. Brett Harris, 22, was arrested after a long standoff with police because he refused to leave the residence to which the shooter retired after firing the shots from the street.

This reporter witnessed the incident first hand and relayed all information to law enforcement. At 1:12 a.m. the shots were fired, and then Christensen ducked back inside the apartment at 6573 Sabado. Seconds later, police were on the scene establishing a perimeter around the property and evacuating neighbors.

Thomas Christensen
Click to enlarge photo

Thomas Christensen

According to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s office, during this time Christensen tried to climb out of the window and was immediately arrested, then questioned at the Isla Vista Foot Patrol offices. The Sheriff’s statement said one of his roommates showed up at the scene and was also interviewed. Christensen was booked on charges of carrying a loaded firearm which he did not own, and for shooting a firearm with gross negligence.

Bret Harris was observed in the residence, and would not comply with officers’ request to come out until around 6 a.m. The special enforcement team was called, including armored trucks and police dogs. At around 4 a.m., officers detonated a flash bang grenade and told Harris to surrender over a loudspeaker. When he finally left the house he was booked for resisting arrest.

Several firearms and ammunition were recovered at the residence. Christensen’s bail was set at $35,000 and Harris’s at $2,500.

This story was amended on November 20. Christensen and Harris were originally described as residents of the apartment at 6573 Sabado Tarde, but we are awaiting confirmation for that.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

event calendar sponsored by:

Santa Barbara Rental Prices Have Skyrocketed Over the Last Five Years

The average rent for a South Coast studio is $1,553.

Trio Stops the Show at Board of Education

More than a dozen appeal to Santa Barbara Unified School District to maintain music classes and programs.

Santa Barbara District Attorney Endorses Villaraigosa for Governor

Joyce Dudley preferred the former Los Angeles mayor’s positions on crime and education.

San Marcos Principal Files Suit Against Santa Barbara Unified School District

Ed Behrens charges emotional and physical distress due to demotion.

City Water Use Hits 1958 Levels

Population was twice today's; revenue close to falling short of expenses.