Carpinteria woman arrested in connection with homicides
A 24-year-old Carpinteria resident was arrested and accused of accessory to murder and criminal street terrorism regarding her involvement in the Liberty Street Murders that occurred one year ago.
After Santa Barbara Police Detectives conducted a follow-up investigation, Jasmine Ochoa, the girlfriend of arrestee and suspected shooter Angel Varela, was determined to have aided, assisted and harbored Mr. Varela after the murders occurred.
Ms. Ochao was arrested by detectives without incident around 9:00 a.m. on Jan. 7 in Carpinteria.
Ms. Ochoa was booked at the Santa Barbara County Jail. She is being held on no bail.
This arrest is following the homicides of Angel Castillo and Omar Montiel-Hernandez, as well at the attempted murders of three additional victims.
In April 2021, Santa Barbara Police Detectives arrested Fernando Gutierrez, Angel Varela, Oscar Trujillo-Gutierrez and Emilio Perez for involvement in the homicides. Mr. Gutierrez is believed to have a gang association involved in the homicides.
The Santa Barbara Police Department has made additional arrests in this case and are actively investigating leads. The department will provide more information if it becomes available.
– Forrest McFarland
SMPD investigating Monday shooting
The Santa Maria Police Department is investigating a shooting that occurred on Monday.
At about 7:00 p.m., officers responded to several calls regarding shots being fired in a parking lot in the 1800 block of N. Broadway.
Upon arrival, officers did not locate a victim or a suspect at the time.
During the investigation, officers responded to another call regarding a shooting victim located in the 1000 block of S. Russell.
Officers discovered an 18 year old Hispanic male suffering from several gunshot wounds and were led to believe the victim was related to the shooting investigation in the 1800 block of N. Broadway.
The victim of the shooting was transported to Marian Medical Center and eventually flown to Cottage Hospital for treatment. The victim’s status is currently unknown.
The Santa Maria Police Department Detective Bureau is investigating the shooting and is asking that any witnesses to the shooting contact them at (805) 928-3781, extension 2277.
– Forrest McFarland