Information being sought on shooting
The California Highway Patrol is seeking information from witnesses to a shooting that took place at 12:30 a.m. Saturday on State Route 1, just south of San Antonio Road West.
This shooting resulted in major injuries to the victim, who was driving a silver 2022 Dodge Charger. The suspect’s vehicle was reported to be a white crew cab mid-size pickup.
If you have information related to this case, you’re asked to call the CHP at 805-593-3333 or email email@example.com. Tips should be addressed, “Attention: Detective Ernstrom.”
— Katherine Zehnder
Shooting ruled as justified
The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office has ruled a non-fatal shooting was a justified use of force by sheriff’s deputies.
The D.A.’s Office completed its review of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office investigation into the non-fatal shooting of Rudy Angel Delgadillo, 24, occurring in the Lompoc area.
The District Attorney’s Office found the shooting by Deputies Ross VanTassel and Yeshella Jimenez was a justified use of force – pursuant to Penal Code section 835a. Under the finding, the deputies bear no state criminal liability, according to the D.A.’s Office.
At approximately 1:30 p.m. Feb. 23, the deputies responded to an unincorporated area by Lompoc after receiving reports of a reckless driver who had collided with parked vehicles and a fence and fled the scene. Deputies VanTassel and Jimenez encountered the suspect, later identified as Rudy Delgadillo, on Mercury Avenue.
According to the D.A.’s Office, Deputy VanTassel was the first to encounter Mr. Delgadillo.
Deputy Van Tassel saw Mr. Delgadillo running toward a neighborhood clubhouse in the 600 block of Mercury Avenue.
Deputy VanTassel parked his patrol car at the entrance to the clubhouse. When Deputy VanTassel got out of his patrol car, Mr. Delgadillo was approximately 91 feet away.
The D.A.’s Office said Deputy VanTassel gave Mr. Delgadillo verbal commands to raise his hands and get on his knees. Deputy Jimenez arrived within a matter of seconds.
Mr. Delgadillo ignored the commands, lifted his jacket and reached into his waistband, according to the D.A.’s Office.
Fearing Mr. Delgadillo had a firearm concealed in his waistband and that he was going to shoot at them, Deputies VanTassel and Jimenez shot at Mr. Delgadillo, the D.A.’s Office said.
Deputy VanTassel had an unobstructed view of Mr. Delgadillo. Seconds later, Deputy Jimenez arrived in her patrol car.
Deputy Jimenez saw Deputy VanTassel with his gun out, so she got out of her patrol car and drew her gun as well, according to the D.A.’s Office.
Deputy VanTassel began giving commands to Mr. Delgadillo to get on his knees, but Mr. Delgadillo did not respond or obey the commands, according to the D.A.’s Office.
Deputy VanTassel told Mr. Delgadillo eight to 10 times to get on his knees.
At 1:55 p.m., Deputy VanTassel broadcast on the radio that he had “one at gunpoint.”
Also at 1:55, in an attempt to gain Mr. Delgadillo’s compliance, Deputy VanTassel told him they would send a canine and he would get bit, but Mr. Delgadillo continued standing and refused to comply with commands. According to the D.A.’s Office, Deputy Jimenez can be heard on the audio recording saying “K9’s on its way.”
Deputy VanTassel said that despite these efforts, he could not de-escalate the situation because Mr. Delgadillo would not interact with him. Mr. Delgadillo was not saying anything or complying with the commands.
Deputy VanTassel said as he was giving commands and Mr. Delgadillo was ignoring him, he began to hear sirens. Deputy VanTassel said Mr. Delgadillo then lifted up his jacket and began digging in his waistband.
When Deputy VanTassel saw Mr. Delgadillo’s hands come up from his waistband, he feared for his life and the life of Deputy Jimenez, so he began shooting, according to the D.A.’s Office.
At 1:55:28, Deputy VanTassel fired eight shots in the direction of Mr. Delgadillo. He then broadcast, “shots fired” over the radio. After the initial volley of shots, Deputy VanTassel looked at Mr. Delgadillo and said he was digging into his waistband again.
Under these circumstances, Mr. Delgadillo’s actions caused Deputies VanTassel and Jimenez to reasonably believe that he was reaching for a firearm and was going to kill or seriously injure one or both of them, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
Deputies VanTassel and Jimenez reasonably believed that deadly force was necessary to respond to the threat Mr. Delgadillo posed to them, the D.A’s Office said.
— Katherine Zehnder