Arrest made after men injured
SANTA BARBARA — An arrest was made after two men with injuries were brought into Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital on Saturday night.
Around 10:20 p.m. Saturday, the Santa Barbara Police Combined Communications Center received a report from Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital staff regarding two injured subjects who were brought into the emergency room within minutes of each other.
Police spokesman Sgt. Ethan Ragsdale said one man sustained a stab wound and that another man sustained a gunshot wound. Officers immediately responded to the hospital to begin an investigation.
While officers were at the hospital, dispatchers received a report from a resident in the 500 block of North Nopal Street regarding an altercation and possible shooting in the area. Additional officers responded to the area and located blood evidence, evidence related to a shooting, and a knife in the street, Sgt. Ragsdale said in a news release on Monday.
Based on witness statements, it appeared a verbal altercation occurred in the street between people in a group, Sgt. Ragsdale said. The altercation escalated when one person allegedly produced a handgun and started pointing it at close range toward several individuals in the group.
In response, one subject reportedly produced a knife and stabbed the gun-wielding suspect. Simultaneously, the suspect with the gun allegedly fired at the subject that had just stabbed him, striking a lower extremity.
All involved fled the area after the shooting occurred.
The alleged shooter, Felipe Mercado, a 34-year-old Goleta resident, was arrested after receiving medical care at the hospital. He is being charged with attempted homicide (a felony), aggravated assault with a deadly weapon (a felony) and use of a firearm while committing a felony (a felony). His bail is currently set at $1 million.
This case is currently under investigation by Santa Barbara Police Detectives. No other information is available, Sgt. Ragsdale said. He added that the motive for the crime is still being investigated.
— Dave Mason
Vague post leads to investigation
GOLETA — The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office determined a vague but troubling social media post from an anonymous account did not constitute a threat.
The determination was made after the post prompted school administrators to request an investigation.
On Thursday, School Resource Deputy Hedricks was contacted by the Santa Barbara Unified School District regarding an Instagram post that was causing concern. The post was from a newly created account with very few posts and did not include a real name. The post, which didn’t carry any images, read, “Don’t go to school tomorrow.”
The post led to concern among parents, students and staff who interpreted the post to be a threat. Deputy Hedricks was shown a screenshot of the post and in collaboration with school administrators, began speaking with students to track down the account creator, according to Public Information Officer Raquel Zick.
In under an hour, Deputy Hedricks was able to determine that the post was not a threat and there was no need to halt school activities.
The creator of the account was found to be a juvenile in Ventura County. SRD Hedricks worked with the school that the juvenile attends to ensure that the juvenile understood the great concern that the post had caused. This incident was documented by Deputy Hedricks as an incident report-only, Ms. Zick said there will be no request for juvenile court intervention.
— Dave Mason