Firing at officers directly in front of him, a suspect in a Lompoc homicide case was shot and killed by police officers on November 19. Law enforcement had been investigating a body found early that morning in the dry bed of the Santa Ynez River near a bike path roundabout. Witnesses described a possible suspect, and a Lompoc Fire Department employee reported seeing the person, identified as Geronimo Vicente Santos, near A Street and Pine Avenue around 7 a.m.
According to Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, which is investigating the officer-involved shooting, Santos refused to comply with patrol officers who arrived to the scene. He then turned toward them, raised his hand, and fired a gun at them. They fired back, striking him multiple times, and he later died in the hospital, though officers and paramedics attempted life-saving measures. No officers were injured, stated the Lompoc Police Department.
The homicide victim in the riverbed has been identified as Timothy Ross Culley, 28, of Lompoc. His accused killer, Santos, was also known as Carlos Aguirrez-Justo. Both incidents are under investigation. Witnesses are asked to contact the Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Bureau at (805) 934-6170, or to leave an anonymous tip at (805) 681-4171 or at sbsheriff.org.