The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office has determined the December 2018 fatal officer-involved shooting involving a triple homicide victim was a justifiable homicide.
The shooting occurred on Dec. 28, 2018. Personnel with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department responded to a residence in the 5900 block of Oakhill Drive in Orcutt after a woman called 911 and reported finding her girlfriend unresponsive in a bathtub and covered in blood. When deputies arrived and made entry into the residence, they found David McNabb, 43, a former sheriff’s custody deputy, armed with a rifle and at least one visible knife, according to a report issued Tuesday by District Attorney Joyce Dudley.
Authorities tried to talk Mr. McNabb into putting down his weapons for more than two hours before using less-lethal force. Mr. McNabb, who told deputies he had killed people that night and wanted deputies to kill him, was hit by the rounds shot by Detectives Travis Henderson and Geofff Roberts, though he still had control of the rifle.
Mr. McNabb proceeded to swing the rifle and pointed it towards multiple deputies. In response, four deputies fired lethal rounds and Mr. McNabb was hit multiple times. Deputies approached Mr. McNabb to secure him and render aid, though he continued to fight with them. As a medic was trying to treat his chest wound, Mr. McNabb grabbed a deputy’s rifle and tried to pull it away. He then grabbed a knife he had concealed and made stabbing motions towards Deputy Matt Delgado, who then shot Mr. McNabb in the chest.
Mr. McNabb was later transported to the hospital, where he died of multiple gunshot wounds.
Deputy’s searched the house and found three murder victims: Nicole McNabb, 34, Mr. McNabb’s sister who was stabbed and beaten to death in the bathroom tub; Melanie McNabb, 64, Mr. McNabb’s mother, and Carlos Echavarria, 63, Ms. McNabb’s fiance. They were stabbed and their heads were bludgeoned by a sledgehammer, according to the report.
Deputies recovered a total of five knives, a rifle and the sledgehammer.
In the report, Ms. Dudley states that Mr. McNabb “created a reasonable fear of death of great bodily injury” in the minds of the responding units. He also created reasonable fear in the mind of Deputy Delgado when he tried to stab him.
“Based on the investigation by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, applying the law as set forth in PC 196(2), and the cases cited, supra, in this report, the officers each acted reasonably in their use of deadly force; therefore, the shooting of David McNabb is a justifiable homicide,” Ms. Dudley said.