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DA finds deadly Lompoc police shooting was ‘justifiable homicide’

Posted at 2:34 PM, Aug 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-27 17:34:58-04

The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office has determined that an officer-involved shooting in Lompoc last year was justifiable.

Geronimo Vicente Santos, 34, was shot and killed by Lompoc Police Department officers on Nov. 19, 2017.

Santos was wanted for a murder that occurred that same morning. According to the District Attorney’s report, Santos shot Timothy Culley in the head after finding him in a tent in the Santa Ynez Riverbed with Santos’ ex-girlfriend.

Shortly after that shooting, officers reportedly spotted Santos walking in the area of A Street and Pine Avenue. According to the report, several officers responded to the scene, and when one police sergeant called to Santos to stop walking and show his hands, Santos reportedly pointed his left arm toward the sergeant while pulling his gun from his waist with his right hand and pointing it at the sergeant. The report says another officer at the scene, then shot at Santos and "almost simultaneously" Santos fired toward the sergeant, hitting the sergeant’s driver side door. 

The report goes on to say that multiple officers then fired at Santos, striking him eight times and grazing him twice. It says it took several shots for Santos to fall to the ground and that he never released the gun until after he was on the ground.

The DA’s report concludes that the officers acted reasonably in their use of deadly force and calls the shooting a "justifiable homicide."

Previous coverage:
Homes, cars hit by gunfire during officer-involved shooting in Lompoc