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Multiple violent crime investigations underway in Santa Maria

Posted at 5:09 PM, Jun 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-27 22:14:27-04

Multiple violent crime investigations are underway in Santa Maria.

On Sunday morning, two men were attacked, with one of them shot near his home. Just days before that, a woman says someone opened fire on her car while she was inside it.

"The first thing that came to my mind was I could either be dead now or in a wheelchair for the rest of my life," said Santa Maria mother April Yglesias, recalling the terror she encountered just steps away from her home.

"I saw to my right, through the passenger window, one of them pull out a gun and point it at my head," Yglesias told KSBY, "so I hit the gas pedal, floored it, and as soon as I turned out of the alley, they lit up the back of my car."

Yglesias says she was confronted by a group of young men who were blocking an alley near her home. They reportedly asked where she was from and fired as many as eight bullets at her when she tried to drive away.

"There has been a lot of gang activity. It has gotten to the point where I have heard bullets going past my window and I've had to throw my body on top of my kids multiple times," Yglesias admitted.

The violence in Santa Maria didn't stop there. Over the weekend, Santa Maria police reported a man in critical condition after two men robbed and shot him near his home around Knudsen Way and Western Avenue.

Investigators were contacted by another victim, robbed and stabbed nearby.

Police say the two cases are likely connected with robbery being the motive.

"It is frightening and it's not very encouraging for people who want to go out and do things," said Santa Maria resident Susan Sorenson, reacting to hearing about these recent incidents.

KSBY tried reaching out to the Santa Maria Police Department to find out if they could provide additional details about the case or share how the victims are doing.

We also hoped to find out if all three attacks were unprovoked, and whether the community should be concerned.

Police told us the release of information on these recent cases could jeopardize the investigations, but did say that shootings have increased in Santa Maria along with other communities throughout the state.

Police encourage everyone to be aware of their surroundings and call 911 if they see anything suspicous.