Alleged Street Killer in Custody

Alleged Street Killer in Custody

Santa Barbara – The streets of “the mission city”, which enjoy an international reputation as a peaceful, brick-paved, tourist-filled destination for vacationing families, honeymooners, and discretionarily-spending shoppers, are occasionally anything but…as events apparently transpiring at dawn on February 27th make clear.

It was on that morning that Santa Barbara Police Department Emergency Dispatch received a report of a “medical emergency”, according to SBPD Public Information Officer Sgt. Riley Harwood. A passerby just blocks from City Hall observed a violent incident between two men, and notified a nearby retail clerk who promptly made a 911 Emergency call to police.

Upon arrival to the Quarantina Street location, police officers, firefighters, and paramedics discovered the body of Ian Justin O’Brien Nichols, a 40-year old transient in a building alcove just steps from the public sidewalk. The cause of Nichols’ demise was not immediately determined, although it was apparently not the result of self-inflicted violence.

Ian Justin O’Brien Nichols

Ian Justin O’Brien Nichols

The investigation into the circumstances leading to Nichols’ death soon led police to identify Enson Junior Lopez, 32, himself a homeless transient, as the principal suspect. Within hours, detectives learned that the two men “had quarreled multiple times during the daylight hours prior to the incident,” and that Lopez tracked Nichols down the following night and summarily stabbed him to death.

Just six hours later, police contacted Lopez on the street just two blocks from the killing scene, whereupon he was taken into custody and booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of murder, with his bail set at $1,000,000.

Photo: Courtesy Santa Barbara County Jail Booking

Read more:

KSBY: Police make arrest in murder of homeless man

KCOY: Arrest made in homicide

Noozhawk: Arrest made in slaying

Alleged Street Killer in Custody was last modified: January 14th, 2019 by admin
Categories: Santa Barbara

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