Santa Barbara police have arrested a 17-year-old gang member for the shooting of an 18-year-old gang member on Wentworth Avenue last March.
Following five months of investigation, authorities arrested the male suspect on charges of attempted murder and participation in a criminal street gang. The two teens belong to different cliques of the same gang, and “the issue at hand involved a conflict within the gang,” said police spokesperson Sgt. Riley Harwood.
At the time of his most recent arrest, the suspect was already serving time at Santa Barbara County Juvenile Hall for an unrelated crime, and the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s Office has expressed its intent to prosecute him as an adult for the March shooting.
On March 17, Santa Barbara law enforcement officials received a call around midnight that a shooting had occurred on the 600 block of Wentworth Avenue. At the scene of the crime, they found the 18-year-old victim shot and wounded in the abdomen, lying on the west sidewalk.
The victim, who was attending a family gathering at the time of the shooting, was hospitalized for several days at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and was initially uncooperative with investigators. Law enforcement eventually determined the crime was a gang-related incident.