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Santa Maria police release video of pursuit, officer-involved shooting

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Posted at 5:04 PM, Jan 27, 2023

The Santa Maria Police Department released an edited video Friday that shows the events surrounding an officer-involved shooting on December 15, 2022.

According to police, the incident began when a woman called 911 to report that she was being carjacked.

A patrol officer reportedly spotted the vehicle involved in the area of Cook St. and College Dr. and began pursuing the vehicle.

Police say the driver hit two other vehicles before crashing in front of a 7-Eleven store on S. Railroad Ave.

The video then shows the driver climbing out of the driver-side window while pointing what police said appeared to be a handgun at his own head. Once he is standing outside of the car, officers order him to "drop the gun." Video shows him lowering the gun from the side of his head and an officer firing a single shot.

The suspect, apparently wounded from the shooting, then runs away.

Surveillance video from a neighboring auto shop shows him enter the business and hold a gun to an employee's neck. The employee is able to disarm him and exit the business while the suspect remains inside.

After officers surround the building, the suspect can be seen crawling out to surrender.

Police say that a gun recovered at the scene turned out to be a pellet gun.

The suspect, identified as Francisco Solano Gomez, 24, of Santa Maria was reportedly taken to an area hospital where he underwent surgery. He was released two days later and booked into jail on charges of carjacking, false imprisonment, assault with a deadly weapon, and burglary. He also reportedly had a warrant out for his arrest.

The officer-involved shooting remains under investigation by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office which will turn its findings over to the District Attorney's Office for further review. The police department is also reportedly investigating the actions of the officer, identified as Mason Jackson, to see if he followed proper protocol.