Just after 1 a.m. on Sunday, Sheriff’s deputies shot a Santa Barbara man multiple times after he pointed a shotgun at one of them during a traffic stop. The suspect, 23-year-old Oscar Varela Moreno, is expected to survive. Moreno has been charged with felony brandishing a firearm at a peace officer and felony obstructing/resisting of an executive officer. He will be booked in County Jail once he’s released from Cottage Hospital, said Sheriff’s spokesperson Kelly Hoover.
According to Hoover, Moreno was driving in the Thunderbowl area of Carpinteria — near Carpinteria Avenue and Highway 150 — when he was pulled over for suspected traffic violation. (The nature of the violation wasn’t disclosed.) Moreno exited his car, which was left in drive and kept slowly moving forward, and pulled a shotgun from his trunk. Hoover said Moreno then pointed it at a deputy, who opened fire on Moreno. A second deputy also shot at Moreno, who was struck “multiple times” and was quickly detained. His car rolled approximately 50 yards before it crashed into an embankment. Moreno was treated at the scene by paramedics then transported to the hospital.
“Due to the on-going investigation this is all the information that can be provided at this time,” said Hoover in a prepared statement. “The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Bureau is investigating the case. Once the investigation is complete, the case will be turned over to the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office for review. As is standard in officer involved shooting cases, there is also a Departmental Administrative investigation underway to determine if proper policies and procedures were followed. The deputies who were involved in the shooting are veterans of the agency and both have more than ten years of service. They have been placed on administrative leave, which is routine in cases of this nature.”