SANTA BARBARA COUNTY — With major league illegal weapons arsenals popping up throughout the northern part of Santa Barbara County, law enforcement responses to any report of “active shooter” commonly have the appearance of a full-scale military operation.
The events transpiring on the city streets of Lompoc on the afternoon of August 6th were no exception as Lompoc Police Department officers appeared at a North L Street residence wearing combat gear and body armor pursuant to reports of what Lompoc Police Sgt. Kevin Martin described to the media as a “suspected shooter who had barricaded himself” in a private residence.
Responding officers located a victim who had been shot by a pellet gun, evidence of which appeared in the form of a pellet stuck in the victim’s forehead.
The on-scene investigation identified the shooter as a man who had been the subject of no less than three individual “calls for service” the prior day, 32-year-old Alberto Custodio, himself a resident of Lompoc. At that point, the LPD Special Enforcement Team and “hostage negotiators” were summoned to the scene.
Once the area perimeter was secured, Martin indicated, “multiple attempts were made to communicate with Custodio,” all to no avail. An arrest warrant was soon thereafter issued for Custodio’s arrest, whereupon Special Enforcement Team officers made contact with Custodio, two of whom suffered injuries as they did so.
Ultimately, Custodio was taken into custody and transported to Santa Barbara County Jail, where he was booked on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, battering on a police officer, and resisting arrest, with his bail set at $30,000.
Photo: Courtesy Santa Barbara County Jail Booking