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Santa Maria Police looking for man who reportedly shot at an officer

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Posted at 4:39 PM, Nov 14, 2020

UPDATE (10:04 P.M.) - The Santa Maria Police Department is now releasing the identity of the suspect accused of the attempted murder of a police officer.

Police say 27-year-old Dustin Morales was spotted while officers responded to an unrelated call on the 200 block of E. Grant Street.

One of the responding officers noticed Morales and attempted to detain him when a physical altercation ensued.

Police say Morales then pulled out a handgun and shot at the officer. The officer was uninjured and did not discharge his firearm, according to police.

Morales then fled the area on foot and later stole a vehicle at gunpoint, police say.

He is described as 5'6" tall, with brown hair and green eyes.

He is considered armed and dangerous and should not be contacted by the public.

Morales is wanted for attempted homicide and carjacking.

Anyone with information is asked to call 911, contact the Santa Maria Police Department Detective Bureau at 805-928-3781, or call the Tip Line at 805-928-3781 x2677.

UPDATE (6:53 P.M.) - Santa Maria Police are searching for a man accused of attempted murder of a police officer.

According to Lt. Russ Mengel, the police officer recognized the suspect, who is wanted for unrelated previous crimes, as he walked into the River Ranch condo complex.

Officials say the officer went to detain the man, but then a physical struggle ensued and the suspect pulled out a firearm and shot at the officer.

The officer is uninjured, according to police.

The man fled the area and police are continuing the search for the suspect.

UPDATE (4:50 P.M.) - The male suspect started shooting at a Santa Maria police officer when police attempted to make contact with the man, according to Chief Phil Hansen.

The police officer was initially responding to a domestic violence call in the area Saturday when the officer saw the male suspect, who is wanted in connection to a separate crime, when the man reportedly shot at law enforcement.

According to Chief Hansen, the reported shooting took place at the River Ranch Condominium Complex of E. Grant St.

It is unclear if there are any reports of injuries.

ORIGINAL STORY (4:39 P.M.) - Santa Maria police officers are investigating reports of shots fired near O'Reilly Auto Parts.

According to the department, the report was made around 3:30 p.m. Saturday near the intersection of E. Grant St. and N. Broadway.

Officers are searching for a male suspect who is still outstanding.

There is no known public threat, according to police.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office is also searching with their air unit.

There is police activity on the corner of N. McClelland St. and E. Creston St. which has been blocked off.

There is crime scene tape up at the River Ranch Condos.

This is a developing story, check back later for details.