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Video shows moments before man was shot, killed during altercation at Orcutt Market

melody market shooting.jpg
Posted at 11:25 AM, Apr 07, 2023

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office released new information about a deadly shooting that happened at Melody Market in Orcutt on Saturday, March 25.

Deputies say the incident happened just before 8 p.m. when two vehicles with four occupants in each vehicle arrived separately at Melody Market.

One of the people in the vehicles was 19-year-old Manuel Reyes Rios of Santa Maria. Moments later, an off-duty Santa Maria Police Officer arrived in his personal vehicle with his family. A fourth vehicle, with a woman and her two children, also arrived at the market.

Deputies say while the off-duty officer and the woman were inside the store, the two groups from the first two vehicles engaged in a physical altercation in the parking lot. When the off-duty officer returned to his vehicle, deputies say Rios brandished a firearm and shot at the other group, striking one of them. This is when deputies say Rios stopped shooting and ran past the off-duty officer who had drawn his firearm and police badge.

The off-duty officer identified himself and ordered Rios to stop shooting and surrender. Deputies say Rios did not comply, raising his firearm and shooting again at the other group and towards a restaurant. Deputies say a patron at the restaurant was injured by flying debris caused by Rios' shooting. At that moment, deputies say the off-duty officer fired at Rios until he fell to the ground. The officer then called 911 and ushered the innocent bystanders into the market and sheltered them inside until deputies arrived.

When deputies arrived, they found Rios dead at the scene with a ghost gun in his possession. Deputies say prior to their arrival the remainder of the subjects who were involved in the altercation, including the person shot by Rios, left the scene.

An autopsy preliminarily determined that Rios died due to multiple gunshot wounds. The final cause and manner of death are pending toxicology.

Clip of altercation at Melody Market in Orcutt

The Sheriff's Office released a short video clip from the Melody Market security cameras that shows Rios, who is wearing a red hooded sweatshirt, during his first round of shooting.

The video shows the seconds just before the off-duty officer intervened. According to the sheriff's office, the video has been shortened from its entire length to give the public a brief idea of the scene without compromising additional parts of the investigation that remain ongoing.

The sheriff's office is not yet releasing the officer's name.