ISLA VISTA — Just past midnight Sunday, a 26-year-old man was involved in a fight a mere three blocks from the UC Santa Barbara campus that left him dead from stab wounds.
According to Santa Barbara County sheriff’s spokesman Drew Sugars, homicide detectives have found no connection between Vincent Velasquez and his attacker, who is described as a 20-to-25-year-old Hispanic male with short hair who stands 5-foot-7 to 5-foot-9, and weighs between 150 and 185 pounds. Witnesses reported seeing a heavyset Hispanic woman with dark hair with the suspect.
In statements to the media requesting the public’s help, Sugars said that detectives believe Velasquez was in Isla Vista visiting friends and was returning to his car when a short verbal exchange between the victim and his assailant quickly “escalated into a physical altercation and eventual stabbing.”
When asked whether or not this was another example of street gang violence plaguing the area, Sugars replied: “We don’t have any evidence it was gang-related, however we haven’t ruled it out either.”
Anyone with information about the attack is asked to contact the department’s Criminal Investigations Division or the Sheriff’s Anonymous Tip Line at (805) 681-4171.