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Lompoc PD seeks witnesses, video in first homicide case of the year

Posted at 12:03 AM, Apr 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-06 03:03:12-04

Lompoc police are investigating a stabbing that took the life of a 33-year-old man. 

It happened early Tuesday morning at the Barkin Park on West Barton Avenue. This marks the first homicide in Lompoc this year.

Meantime, Lompoc police are on the hunt for the person who stabbed Theophus Lee Bennett.

"On Tuesday, April 3rd at about 6:20 (a.m.) we received calls of a man asking for help," said Sgt. Augustin Arias. On the line was Bennett. He had been stabbed multiple times.

Investigators say Bennett was a transient and he’d been staying at the Bridge House Shelter. On the day of the stabbing…

"He left the Bridge House that morning at 4:40 approximately," Sgt. Arias said. From there, he walked more than a mile and a half to H Street and nearly another mile to the McDonald’s on that road. The time was about 5:50 a.m. according to Sgt. Arias.

"And then from the McDonald’s he walked over to the Barkin Park, the dog park," Sgt. Arias added. He was at the park until about 6:20 a.m., when officers received calls for help.

Officers are now turning to the public. Specifically, those who live along the path Bennett traveled from Sweeney Road to the McDonald’s and the dog park – really, anywhere in between: 

"To check their surveillance from 4:40 a.m. til about 6:20 and afterward in the area leaving 400 West Barton," Sgt. Arias continued.

As far as the motive behind this, that’s still being investigated.

"Theophus is not a known gang member. He grew up in Lompoc," Sgt. Arias said. The police add that he was known for prior arrests and was often seen just walking around the city.

The area Bennett walked on Tuesday morning has been canvassed by police but they’re looking for witnesses specifically on H Street or those who walked in the canal path that morning.

Call the Lompoc Police Dept. at (805) 875-8121 or (805) 875-8123 if you can help. You can leave messages anonymously.

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Lompoc police investigating deadly stabbing at park