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Homicide investigation underway as Santa Maria police look for answers after shooting, explosion

Posted: 6:30 PM, Jun 21, 2019
Updated: 2019-06-21 21:48:55-04

UPDATE (5:30 p.m.) – Santa Maria police are now investigating Friday’s shooting and fire as a homicide. Two of the four victims have been identified, but authorities are not yet releasing their names.

There is no public threat at this time, police say.

There is no word on a potential motive.


 

UPDATE (2:30 p.m.) – Santa Maria police say four people are dead following a shooting, explosion and fire at a Santa Maria mobile home park Friday afternoon.

Police say the shooting happened in the clubhouse area of the mobile home park shortly before noon. Police said officers were on scene within two minutes and when they arrived, they found two men dead.

The potential suspect lived in a nearby unit where an explosion was heard and fire broke out.

Mobile homes damaged and destroyed in a fire Friday in Santa Maria. (KSBY photo)

 

Jeanne Pate lives four doors down from where the house caught fire and says she saw tall flames.

“There were big black billows of smoke and then I saw police cars coming from every direction possible and running across my front lawn,” said Jeanne Pate, who saw the fire.

Police say unit 407 “engulfed rapidly” and firefighters initially held off their response believing there may have been an active shooter situation. Ammunition inside the home also created challenging and dangerous conditions for firefighters, according to officials.

Police say they then discovered two more people dead in the home where the fire is believed to have started.

One of the four people found dead is believed to be the suspect, according to police.

The fire damaged three to four homes. Some of those appeared to be destroyed.

“Fire crews held off initially until we had officers who could escort them safely into fire area once it was safe because once again we didn’t know if we had someone roaming around the neighborhood,” said Captain Phil Hansen of the Santa Maria Police Department.

Police have not released information on a possible motive for the shooting or cause of the explosion.

Many people are shocked this could happen in their quiet neighborhood that is mostly senior living.

“I’m surprised especially being a senior trailer park,”  said Keith Castro. “It can happen anywhere.”


2 people dead following shooting that turned into explosion and house fire. KSBY reporter Megan Healy TV is live on scene at Casa Grande Mobile Home Park.

Posted by KSBY on Friday, 21 June 2019

 

UPDATE (1:49 p.m.) – Police say three to four homes were burned. The fire is reportedly under control but firefighters are still working to knock down the flames.


 

ORIGINAL STORY: Two people are dead in a shooting that led to an explosion and fire at a Santa Maria mobile home park Friday afternoon, police tell KSBY News.

Police were releasing few details about the incident but did confirm the deaths and said a suspect was outstanding.

They were on scene at Casa Grande Senior Mobile Estates on the 500 block of West Taylor Street as of 12:30 p.m.

Police say the suspect may have burned his home down following the shooting. It was unclear if other structures may have also caught fire.

Posted by Tim Johnson Jr on  Friday, June 21, 2019

A portion of Casa Grande Estate has been evacuated and the area blocked off.

People in the area have reported hearing the explosion and seeing heavy smoke coming from the area.

“I saw, personally, myself, three SWAT officers go down there and about 10 minutes later, all of a sudden you just heard all this gunfire, you know, 15, 20 shots, pow, pow, pow pow pow, back and forth and then a small explosion and it’s been quiet ever since,” said Keith Castro, who has lived in the area for nearly three years.

KSBY has a crew on the scene and will have updates as information becomes available.

Santa Maria police investigate a shooting that led to an explosion and fire on W. Taylor. (KSBY photo)