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Man arrested following Friday morning murder in Santa Maria

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Posted at 8:59 AM, May 30, 2021

Police have made an arrest in connection with a deadly shooting in Santa Maria last week.

Police say following an extensive search that included help from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, Erik Fernandez Rocha, 20, was arrested shortly before 9:30 p.m. Saturday while riding a bike on Donovan Road a N. Elm Street.

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Erik Rocha

He was wanted in connection with the murder of Frankie Placido Hernandez early Friday morning.

Police had remained fairly tight-lipped about the investigation until Saturday night when they identified Rocha, 20, as the suspect.

Police were called to the Broadway overpass near Highway 101 shortly after 2 a.m. Friday to reports of a shooting victim inside a vehicle there.

Police say Hernandez was pronounced dead at the scene.

They add the it appears the 29-year-old victim had been shot near a business on the 100 block of E. Grant Street.

Investigators say they’re looking into a possible motive, but add the shooting does not appear to be gang-related.

Rocha was booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of murder.