A heavily armed Carpinteria man committed suicide inside his trailer Thursday afternoon after a five-hour standoff with deputies responding to calls of a stolen truck. Kristopher Kump, 31, who was found wearing body armor and a bandoleer loaded with shotgun rounds, was reportedly in possession of two shotguns and a military-style rifle fitted with a grenade launcher. He shot himself in the head after refusing to exit the trailer and surrender to deputies, officials said.
According to Sheriff’s spokesperson Kelly Hoover, the ordeal began at 6:45 a.m. when deputies were dispatched to investigate a break-in and theft at a business on La Patera Lane in Goleta. An employee had arrived to the location to find the back door of the business broken into and a work truck missing. About an hour later, the business’s owner called 9-1-1 to report he had located the truck in the 100 block of Ocean View Avenue near Carpinteria where Kump, a former employee, lived in a trailer. The business owner also stated he had contacted Kump outside the trailer and Kump had brandished a gun.
When deputies arrived, they tried to contact Kump, but he was unresponsive, said Hoover. “Due to the fact that he was reportedly armed and refusing to come outside, the Sheriff’s Special Enforcement Team was deployed,” she explained. Also called to the scene were a helicopter, K9 unit, crisis negotiation team, and personnel from the Lompoc Police Department, as well as paramedics and firefighters from Summerland and Montecito. About a dozen homes in the surrounding area were evacuated, and nearby streets were closed.
As deputies made repeated announcements during the next few hours asking Kump to come outside, he did not respond and appeared to be trying to light several fires within the trailer, Hoover said. At several points, smoke was seen billowing from the residence.
At approximately 12:40 p.m., the Sheriff’s Special Enforcement Team deployed what Hoover described as “inflammable tear gas” into the trailer. Twenty minutes later, a fire ignited inside. Once it was out, Hoover said, deputies gained entrance and found Kump with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head. In addition to the body armor and other weapons recovered, officials found approximately 1,000 rounds of ammunition, smoke grenades, and drugs.
Kump had been arrested the night before in the 4600 block of Carpinteria Avenue for possession of a controlled substance for sales, Hoover said. His car was towed, and he was transported to County Jail but required medical treatment. “[Kump] was taken to the hospital for treatment and released from custody,” explained Hoover. “He fled from the hospital at 2:00 a.m. against medical advice.”
The Sheriff’s coroner’s unit is conducting a death investigation. Toxicology results will take several weeks to complete.