H-SANTA MARIA

Oct 8, 2013 7:23 PM by April Hansen, KSBY

Santa Maria PD searching for shooter

An armed man is still on the loose after a shooting Tuesday morning in Santa Maria. It happened on the 900 block of North Broadway near the Budget Inn Motel. One man was shot in the foot.When officers arrived on scene, they were told by witnesses that the shooter ran to the nearby motel. Sergeant Dan Cohen with the Santa Maria Police Department says this is a gang-related crime. The victim is not cooperating with police at this point, so the only description of the shooter is from witnesses. "I stopped right away because I noticed it had to do with the that hotel right there," said Santa Maria resident Antonio Vatal. He was on his way to work when he noticed heavily armed police officers with guns drawn surrounding the Budget Inn Motel. "I have a childhood friend that lives there and that's the reason why I'm here. I'm worried," said Vatal. Officers arrived on scene after calls came in that five to six gunshots were heard in the neighborhood. "This area is known to have its troubles. We've got stabbings across the street and shootings like a block from here, so it's definitely an area to be aware," said Vatal. Residents from the motel and neighbors watched as armed officers searched the rooms for the shooter. "We believe the gunman ran to a specific room. We made contact with the individuals there and they were not the ones involved in the shooting. We know from being on scene rather quickly that there were a lot of people milling around the hotel at that time in the morning," said Santa Maria Police Sergeant Russell Mengel. Crews stayed on scene for hours, but there was no sign of the gunman. "We don't know what was the reason behind the shooting. Again, we are still trying to determine the circumstances surrounding the contact between the victim and subject," said Sergeant Mengel. The 31- year old man who was shot was taken to a nearby hospital where he was in stable condition. The police department released three descriptions of people fleeing the scene, but did not specify which one is the shooter. Suspect #1 Hispanic male adult, wearing all black, thin build, mid 20s, short hairSuspect #2 Hispanic male, short in stature, wearing all blackSuspect #3 Hispanic female, wearing all black, long hair, runs with a limp Santa Maria police are asking for the public's help in this case. Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 1-877-800-9100.

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