New Year's Shooting Victim Identified

Many Details Remain Unclear

A bullet hole pierced the glass door of the unit across the walkway from the party house where the deadly fight broke out.
Photo Credit: Kelsey Brugger
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Twenty-four-year-old Jesus Reyes was shot and killed on New Year’s Day at about 3:30 a.m. on the corner of De la Vina and Victoria streets. The shooting took place after a fight broke out at a small New Year’s party at 210 West Victoria Street, No. 2, where a single man had just moved into the Section 8 unit a few months ago.

Santa Barbara police had received calls of a disturbance on Victoria Street. While responding they learned a gun was involved. Five shots had been fired, according to the police report. Officers arrived to find one man lying dead in the middle of De la Vina Street. Another gunshot victim was transported to Cottage Hospital and is expected to survive. Police indicated that he made statements to them that have assisted the investigation. Reyes had been shot in the head, witnesses told the Santa Barbara Independent.

The shooting left clear evidence of a random spray of bullets. A bullet pierced the glass front door of the unit across the walkway from the party house and was still clearly visible on Tuesday. According to neighbors, many people often came and went from the Victoria Street bungalow since the new tenant moved in. Loud music blared, and one neighbor complained double-parked cars often blocked traffic on Victoria Street.

Drops of blood could be seen down Victoria and around the corner to De la Vina for much of the day Monday, and an orange screen concealed the body from view. Department of Justice criminologists were slow to arrive at the scene because it was New Year’s Day, police said. They spent hours in the afternoon taking photographs and placing numbered placards on the asphalt to identify spots of blood.

Police are still seeking to interview two persons of interest. As of press time, Lt. Ed Olson called the case “still very active.” “There are a lot of avenues. They may be bearing fruit very quickly,” he said.

Last year, there were no murders in the City of Santa Barbara. In September 2013, Brian Tacadena was shot and killed by police just yards away from where Reyes died.

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