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'It was just shocking just to hear all the shots.' Witnesses react to Lompoc officer-involved shooting

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Posted at 5:45 PM, Mar 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-29 20:46:21-04

An officer-involved shooting that left one person dead is under investigation in Lompoc.

The shooting took place Sunday night on H Street in Lompoc.

It happened near a busy street, close to a few businesses. One business owner says he heard and saw part of the incident play out.

"We had everyone go inside for the moment to try to make sure everything was okay for the time being,” said Brian Piemme, owner of PM Headshop.

Piemme said he was outside Sunday night when he heard shots fired.

"Some gunshots went off. We heard five shots, and we were trying to see what happened but they pulled everyone over and closed the area off,” he said.

Lompoc police say just after 8 p.m., officers responded to reports of a person walking near H Street and carrying a gun.

What happened between then and when officers arrived on the scene has not been disclosed by investigators but police say the person was shot by an officer and later died.

On Monday morning, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office and crime scene investigators were at the scene but declined to comment on the investigation.

Business owner Dora Ruiz was not at work at the time of the shooting but was notified Monday morning that bullets may have hit the brick wall outside her salon.

"I thank God I wasn't here… thank God I wasn't here. I was with my husband last night before we left the salon around 7:30. It wasn't until the next morning when I found out on the news and then received the call from my employee asking me. Detectives wanted to see footage from my outside camera,” Ruiz said.

Just down the street, another person said he heard the shots ring out.

"It was just worrisome but it was just shocking just to hear all the shots at the same time,” Paul Purter said.

The name of the person shot has not yet been released.

The road was closed off during the officer-involved shooting investigation but later reopened Monday afternoon.

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office.