Santa Barbara police are calling a shooting late Saturday night near downtown gang-related, as they continue to gather details about the event which left two men wounded.
Police spokesperson Sgt. Lorenzo Duarte said reports of “individuals physically fighting” near the intersection of De la Vina and West Gutierrez streets started coming in around 11:25 p.m., September 27, and subsequent reports also indicated gunshots may have been fired. As officers were on the scene, dispatch received a call from Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital officials, indicating that two individuals had come to the hospital, each with gunshot wounds.
An 18-year-old victim, whose nose showed both entry and exit bullet wounds, was treated and released from the hospital. A 28-year-old victim, shot once in the abdomen, was reported to be in stable condition at the hospital as of Monday morning. It was determined both were involved in the earlier altercation.
Police have arrested one man in connection with their investigation, 22-year-old Sebastian Covarrubias. A search of his house in the same block as where the fighting occurred allegedly turned up a “Molotov cocktail”-an improvised explosive device most commonly made of a glass bottle filled with alcohol and a fuel-soaked rag-as well as the handgun believed to have been used in the incident. He was arrested for possession of an explosive device, but hasn’t been charged in the shooting.
Some of the people involved are documented Santa Barbara gang members, Duarte said, but he wouldn’t say whether Covarrubias or the victims are. Nor are police releasing the caliber or type of handgun used.
Reports indicated five to six shots were fired. Each victim, however, was only hit once. Several bullet shell casings were found in the area, Duarte said, without disclosing a specific number.
The investigation is ongoing, and anyone with information is asked to call the Police Department’s investigative division at (805) 897-2335.