Bike Rider Arrested for Murder

Bike Rider Arrested for Murder

June 2, 2021 – Santa Barbara County, Ca.
Political leadership in the City of Santa Maria is working hard to avoid the distinction of having their community branded as the most dangerous area on California’s central coast, but by all metrics those efforts are falling a bit short of the reality.

Evidence of that came with a fatal shooting that took place at approximately 2:00 AM on May 28th , becoming the fourth episode of deadly violence in the city this year. Officers who responded to the scene on the U.S. 101 downtown Santa Maria overpass discovered 29-year-old Frankie Placido Hernandez sitting in his car, dead from an apparent gunshot wound.

According to Santa Maria Police Department spokesman Lt. Terry Flaa, investigators determined that Hernandez had been shot while driving through the city’s commercial area in an incident that “does not appear to be gang-related.” The ensuing investigation lead detectives to identify 20-year-old Santa Maria resident Erik Fernandez Rocha as the primary suspect, where upon a warrant for his arrest was issued the following day, May 29th .

It was at that point that SMPD officers and Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department deputies began scouring the earth, conducting “an extensive search and surveillance operation” in an effort to locate Rocha. Later that day, detectives spotted Rocha pedaling his bicycle through a Santa Maria neighborhood. He was promptly contacted, taken into custody, and transported to Santa Barbara County Jail, where he was booked on a charge of murder.

Photo: Courtesy Santa Barbara County Jail Booking

Bike Rider Arrested for Murder was last modified: June 6th, 2021 by admin
Categories: Santa Barbara
Tags: murder, shooting

About Author

Robert L. McCullough

Bob McCullough is a television and screen writer-producer who has worked for every major television network and film studio with more than 200 produced credits. Bob has recently co-authored “Where Hollywood Hides: Santa Barbara”, a hardcover book featuring a wide range of film, television, and music industry celebrities living on the Central Coast. His weekly iTunes podcast about “all things Hollywood” can be heard at