May 16, 2011 10:06 PM by Ariel Wesler

Police investigate two overnight crimes in Santa Maria

Santa Maria Police investigated a fatal stabbing and a drive by shooting just blocks away from each other in the last two days.

The stabbing happened around 2 a.m. Sunday in the 400 block of West Lemon Street. Police say a 42-year old man was stabbed to death when a fight broke out at a party. Then, overnight, officers say a 20-year-old Santa Maria man was shot during a drive-by shooting in the 400 block of North Dejoy.

Alejandro Vazquez was standing next to his 20 year old friend when a drive by shooter opened fire.

"He just started shooting everywhere, and I started hiding behind the tree when I heard the gunshots hit the wall," Vazquez said.

His cousin, Brito, was inside and heard gunfire.

"Bam Bam Bam, like around five shots," said Brito Alfana of Santa Maria.

Vazquez says the three were drinking some beers when a vehicle drove up and someone inside flashed a gang sign. Brito says the car drove off, but soon returned and shot their friend.

"He had a bullet right here in the neck," Brito said.

Officers say the man is in serious condition at Marian Medical Center.

"I'm really depressed. I'm really mad. I hope I don't see those people that did it," Vazquez said.

Meanwhile, police have arrested 19-year-old Moses Gutierrez of Santa Maria. They say he's responsible
for stabbing 42-year-old Alex Anzures in the chest on Sunday, killing him. Investigators say the two started arguing during a party.

"We don't often see fights of that nature turn that violent, that quickly," Lt. Jerel Haley with the Santa Maria Police Department.

Officers served search warrants and questioned witnesses in the 800 block of South Smith Street. Some of that information led them to their suspect.

Unlike the shooting, investigators do not believe the stabbing was gang-related.

Police say this is the second drive by shooting this year. Officers say because drive by shootings usually happen in a matter of seconds, it's more difficult to get good information from witnesses and the cases often take longer to investigate.

Anyone with more information on either incident is asked to contact the Santa Maria Police Department.


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