Santa Maria police officers shot each other
December 13, 2011
The only bullets fired in Thursday’s fusillade killing a 24-year-old Santa Maria man and wounding two officers came from police weapons.
A local newspaper initially reported that the fatally wounded man, Samyr Ceballos, started a shootout.
“Never once did I say (Ceballos) fired first,” Santa Maria Police Chief Danny Macagni told CalCoastNews today. “I made it a very distinct point not to say that. I try to keep the facts on point as much as possible.”
Macagni said he was “at the scene.” But he also said that “at no time did I say to anyone that these officers had been fired on. It wasn’t that he (Ceballos) didn’t try… he had his finger on the trigger.”
The two injured officers, one hit in the hand, the other in a leg, were treated and released from local hospitals. None of the officers involved have been identified.
Ceballos was driving a black SUV and had parked in front of a West Agnes Avenue home when he was approached by officers attempting to serve a drug-related search and arrest warrant.
Macagni said Ceballos’ “intent was clear. We knew going in that we were going to have a confrontation with this guy. We knew he wasn’t going to cooperate.” One officer used a Tazer on Ceballos, who then reportedly emerged from the vehicle holding a handgun.
Subsequent investigation verified that the handgun police allege Ceballos had in his possession had not been fired.
Immediately after the shooting incident, the four officers involved were placed on paid administrative leave pending completion of an investigation by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department and the District Attorney.
In post-event comments, Macagni described Ceballos as “a documented West Park gang member well known to the criminal justice system.”