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SBPD: Man wanted for attempted murder in Santa Barbara likely no longer in area

Posted at 1:59 PM, Jul 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-21 17:09:54-04

Police say the suspect in an attempted murder investigation out of Santa Barbara may have fled the area.

Police have been looking for Jaime Soto Hernandez of Ojai since July 9 in connection with what’s believed to be a domestic-violence-related incident.

Investigators say several 911 calls were made after the 41-year-old was reportedly seen around 6:30 that evening with what was described as an AK-47-type assault rifle on the patio of a restaurant in the 600 block of North Milpas Street.

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Police say video surveillance showed Hernandez confronting a woman at a table there and after some words were exchanged, the suspect pointed the assault rifle at the woman and tried to fire.

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The firearm possibly malfunctioned and did not go off, according to police, who say Hernandez took off in a late-model GMC truck.

Detectives reportedly worked with several agencies in Southern California to find the suspect that night but were unsuccessful.

A firearm magazine that contained 24 7.62mm rounds was recovered, which police say they believe was paired with the weapon used in the alleged crime.

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According to investigators, Hernandez's vehicle was also discovered that evening in the Los Angeles area, but he remains on the run.

Police say they do not think Hernandez is still in the area, but believe some of his “regional associates” may know where he is.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call Santa Barbara Police Detective Megan Harrison at (805) 897-2343. Tipsters can remain anonymous.