Santa Maria police officers arrested two Allan Hancock basketball players Saturday for the murder of 23-year-old Terence Richardson, who was fatally shot on the 1000 block of East Jones on December 30. A SWAT team arrested Lavell White, 22, and Ali Mohammed, 19, at their residence early Saturday morning. The two are being held in County Jail on $1 million bail. They are expected to be arraigned Tuesday.
The details surrounding the shooting have not been released by law enforcement. Sgt. Paul Van Meel with the Santa Maria Police Department said authorities are still actively looking into the case. To his knowledge, Van Meel said, White and Mohammed had not had any prior interaction with the department.
Richardson was a Santa Maria native and former Allan Hancock student. Andrew Masuda, a spokesperson for the community college, said he could not release any information about Richardson’s school records because they were marked as confidential. According to his Facebook page, Richardson enjoyed walking, reading, hiking, and traveling.
“We are extremely saddened by the death of Terence Richardson, a former Hancock student,” Masuda said in a statement. “All of us at Allan Hancock College share the grief of his family’s loss. … While still trying to understand all of the details of this incident, we are stunned by the arrest of two of our student-athletes and continue to cooperate fully with the Santa Maria Police Department during its investigation. The arrests clearly do not meet the high standards our student-athletes have maintained for many years.”
The men’s basketball coach will hold a press conference Monday afternoon. White and Mohammed were removed from the basketball team, Masuda said. Their records are also marked as confidential.