Santa Maria police officers shot each other

December 13, 2011

Danny Macagni

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.”


It would appear that CCN is the only paper carrying these facts! I looked around and no one else has the story apart from media who are quoting CCN. KSBY, Trubune, Santa Maria Times and the Sun appear to having nothing! I guess the SMPD hasn’t sent out a press release, either that or the press is complicit in an assisted cover up ? WOW – Has anyone seen this story anywhere else?


SMTimes’ article from 12/12/2011 has a bit more detail. Some of it is inconsistent but, oh well…..

Ted Slanders

Okay, enough Monday morning quarterbacking and opinionated hypotheticals that are to the point of ad nauseum! Deducing it to it’s irreducible primary is the FACT that there is one less gang banger in Santa Maria, period!

My Christianity and bible allow me to be harsh in this manner because my Christian God was never known for not meting out His killing justice in the same manner to His creation when they went against His doctrines and commands! The Old Testament is proof of His deadly action, praise!

In the same manner as my God being the judge and killing His creation from time to time, this gang banger went against man’s laws with the police by having prior convictions, being under arrest at the time, and he was warned. Most importantly, he had a gun in hand, jeopardized the safety of the community at large, and was culpable for the decision that he made, therefore, lights out!

Next topic?


OMG! To think these are the guys who are there to “protect us”… They need to get back to the firing range for some practice sessions….wonder when they were LAST “certified” in weapons proficiency?


Whatever you say hollier than though Mr. Ted.


After reading subsequent pieces on this incident, I’m not so sure about my first impression. But then again ……… if you think about it……….. someone who has spent time in prison and has infrastructure already set up for him isn’t afraid of going back, in fact, pretty much must expect it. He’s driving kids to school in the morning so it doesn’t sound like he’s on some 8-day drug run. Realistically, why would he pull a gun on officers when he knows he’s out numbered? Maybe the tazering just pissed him off. But this guy is a seasoned, professional gang member. Why did they confront him this way in the first place? Must have been an easier, safer scenario they could have chosen. Does not make sense. The gang threatening retaliation adds to the flavor too. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm


I have to agree that it is odd that he pulled the gun and didn’t use it. He had to know that once he pulled that gun he was going to die, so why open the door and let them see it rather than take the only immediate shot’s he would of had, which is right through the door? No doubt he had decided that he was going to die by cop that day but I doubt he decided to go down alone. I have to agree that something is odd with the gun scenario. Does anyone know if there were any witnesses?

P.S. I’m also curious why they tazered him to begin with? Was it for fun as it often is or was he given a reasonable opportunity to exit the vehicle before they let him have it?


“before they let him have it” with the tazer , that is?


Why would he to chose to die by cop? He is a gang member and probably has been for a decade or more – professional and selfish. Why die at all? He just dropped kids off at school. Why not put your hands up and let them do their thing. It’s not as if he wasn’t used to it.


True, very true but didn’t they find a quantity of drugs in the car? Wouldn’t that mean he was going back to prison for a long time? If I’m wrong about that ,then I really have to wonder why?

Of course he could have been furious about being tazed and completely lost his temper and decided he was going to kill one or two of them? But again, then I have to wonder why he got out of the car and allowed them to see the gun. Like I said, it would make more sense that he would have blasted them through the car door, essentially using his car to shield the gun.

Yes, as I think about this, something doesn’t make sense.

Ted Slanders


“The gang threatening retaliation adds to the flavor too. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm”

Any threats by these bangers comes with the territory . If the threats come, then the majority here will be able to Monday morning quarterback once again in the stories that follow, in what the SM Police should have done according to you with NO police or fire-arm training!

You’re not out there putting your life upon the line, your family isn’t being threatened by these low-lifes, so it’s very easy for you and others to sit home in your safe haven with your computers and play “Hollywood Movie” and write your own script! What a joke!

Hey, vote out the SM Police altogether, and take care of the gangs on our own! Who’s first to apply for a vigilante group? MaryMalone? Cindy? Smartmouth? Standup? I would love to see the SM police make comments about how YOU handled the same situation with this criminal element and their harming and killing tactics, that is, after you’ve changed your underwear three or four times in a given day! lol


Ah ha. Trying to drag me into his one Teddy. You old dog you. Ted, I don’t like gang bangers anymore than the rest of us. But, I also don’t like cops that lie. Not saying they did this here, but something seems a little fishy. I would like to know how many shooting cases happened in CA this year where a subject was killed that had a gun that was not fired but the officer got shot by friendly fire. You have to admit, this is just a little odd.


You two have this major feud going on. I know that it’s warped but I’m starting to enjoy watching you two go at it.

I don’t want to get into the middle of the fray but I actually agree with both of you on this.

Ted Slanders


You’ve already drug yourself into the fracas by the mere fact that you responded to me in kind? H-E-L-L-O?

“But, I also don’t like cops that lie. Not saying they did this here,….”

So, which is your position on your own statement above? It’s ambiguous to say the least, nonetheless, did they lie or not? For the position that you take, and for a change of pace, support it with FACTS! Then, and only then, will you have a respectable outcome! :(

“I would like to know how many shooting cases happened in CA this year where a subject was killed that had a gun that was not fired but the officer got shot by friendly fire.”


Well Tederoo, simply put, I (or we) don’t know if the cops are telling the truth about what really happened in Santa Maria. I have been blatantly lied to from local cops where they said they had a warrant but actually didn’t have one. So I don’t know what else you want pal. As far as doing research on this, I have much better things to do like earn a living. I actually was hoping you would STANDUP and take initiative and do it for me buddy.


How often does the paper report that a gang has threatened to retaliate against the police?


SMARTMOUTH: “Why did they confront him this way in the first place? Must have been an easier, safer scenario they could have chosen.”


ITA. The SMPD chose to pull their little Operation Big Balls in a residential neighborhood, during the day, which meant the highest risk to innocent civilians.

You know who turned out to be the “winners” in this SMPD debacle? The two SUV occupants who got the h e** out of there. Look what happened to Ceballos, the one who stayed behind to deal with the SMPD. They slaughtered him in a “flurry of gunfire.”

In fact, I would recommend that all people in Santa Maria of Latin-American heritage, who get pulled over by the police, run like he**. It may save your life.

Ted Slanders


Wait a minute! I had to reread your post to make sure that you actually said what you did! Astonishing! Now you’re promoting breaking the law after being pulled over by the SM police by running from the scene! Where will you go next? ROFLOL! This statement of yours takes the cake, bar none!

Barring the FACT that you are now “profiling”, you tell the Latin-American race to run from the car which only exacerbates a situation IF THE LICENSE PLATE SHOWS THERE IS A WARRANT FOR ARREST, OR IS WANTED IN SOME OTHER WAY! Do you understand what you’ve proposed?

The unsuspected and innocent passengers in a scenario like this don’t know if the plate showed a warrant or some other infraction, but nonetheless, YOU TELL THEM TO RUN! What can this action tell the police under this circumstance? YES, the runners are obviously guilty of something, and that is why they are running away! What ensues subsequently could turn into a really bad situation! Nonetheless, MaryMalone tells them to run! LOL What a joke. :(

OMG, and please, don’t be dishonest again, and say that you were just kidding and that you really didn’t mean it. BUT, your previous postings vouchsafe the fact that you actually do! You’re thinking in this matter is just blatantly unconscionable! I still can’t believe it, and I am sure the other logical of mind can’t either. :(

This scenario is just another example of why your “dislikes” out number your “likes”. How sad. :(


1. How shallow can you be to be concerned about the “check” system, which is basically a popularity contest?

2. When have I ever been dishonest?

3. You look at the outcome of the intervention between the SMPD, SWAT and detectives take-down of the one man, Mr. Ceballo, who stayed with his vehicle to respond to the police’s attempts to pull over him over? What happened to the two who ran away? Which would you rather be, alive or dead? Make your choice accordingly.

4. According to the 2010 census, 37.6% of California residents are hispanic/latino; about 48% of Santa Maria residents are hispanic/latino. Yet there are repeated complaints against the SMPD for profiling latino/hispanic drivers at their “sobriety checkpoints.” Until just a few months ago (when the law was changed), during a sobriety checkpoint the police could impound any vehicle whose driver was not licensed, even if the driver was sober. This results in $148.60 going to the SMPD for each vehicle towed by the towing company. The City of Bell was notorious for the city’s police having a quote of cars they had to impound because it raised the city’s income.

5. The SMPD’s management has been investigated before for, including other things, discrimination. SMPD officers were quoted as saying hearing the chief, Macagni, calling hispanic/latinos “wetbacks,” African-Americans “*iggers,” and Michael Jackson a “monkey.”

Quote from the Santa Maria Sun, “A department divided: Officers express concerns about low police morale and a perceived failure of leadership in the Santa Maria Police Department by Kristen Flagg.

several of the officers interviewed complained that the chief’s past use of racist language sets a bad example for junior officers and creates an oppressive environment for minorities within the organization, though no one claimed that the chief treated white officers more favorably than he did those of color.

A Hispanic officer herself, Giese said she’d heard Macagni use terms like “stupid wetbacks” and “damned Mexicans” long before he became chief.

Giese remembered one recent comment in particular allegedly made by the chief at a farewell party for an African-American officer who was transferring to another police department: “Macagni shows up and says, ‘If for any reason things don’t go well there, you always have a job here, even if it’s as my driver.'”

At first, when asked if he has ever made derogatory remarks toward different races, Macagni declined to answer the question.

“You know it’s wrong, you know it’s absolutely wrong to even ask these questions,” he said, “because it’s none of your business. It’s a personnel issue.”

The chief later addressed the question.

“Over my 30 years here, the language and culture has changed,” he said. “In 2006, racist and derogatory language is unacceptable, and we have policies and procedures to address them.

“Now, over my 30 years, have I made inappropriate comments? Yes,” Macagni continued. “Anybody who says that they haven’t would not be being honest. But things are changed, and we’re dealing with them.”

Scott Vales left the Santa Maria Police Department when Macagni was still commander.

“In a nutshell, I saw Chief Macagni’s ascension to power and I just saw the way he treated people, and he’s a demeaning boss. He’s demeaning to his subordinates,” said Vales, who now works for the Irvine Police Department.

Vales also said he has heard Macagni use the term “wetback.”

“You know, my children are Hispanic and bilingual and bicultural, and there are some things he said that hurt,” Vales said. “How can you have a chief that uses terms that are derogatory terms and then turn around and expect your subordinates not to do the same?”

Spears said he has heard the chief use similar language throughout his years on the beat, including at a police briefing when he compared Michael Jackson to a monkey.

“The problem is that the chief makes these comments in normal conversation. This is not a joke. There’s been times he’s been making these comments referring to folks as niggers, wetbacks, chinks … .” Spears said.”

An internal investigation was attempted, but met with resistance. Those who worked for the City refused to participate in the investigation, and the police in the department followed their lead.

When a third-party was brought in to investigated, 67% of the police responded. Isn’t that amazing. Among other findings, the majority of the police polled indicated things were worse in the department than they were 5 years previously, and that they didn’t believe anything would change until the management changed.

They had no gripes about the $$$ issues. It was clearly the management they saw as being the problem.

Now, you take a racist police chief, who was at the scene of the Ceballo shooting by police officers, in a city where there have been numerous complaints of racial profiling at the sobriety checks, with a police chief who freely uses vile racial epithets to describe members of different racial groups in SM, and you tell me whether you think there might be racial issues behind the chief’s refusal to give a straight story about the shooting in SM?


Something doesn’t seem right about this deal. Yea, the guy was trouble. Yea, he probably smarted off to them pretty bad so they tasered him. His hand on a trigger, well, sounds like a good story to protect some dishonest cops that don’t know haw to point a gun. Good job shooting each other.

Ted Slanders


The bottom line is that he was tazered for whatever reason, and it matters NOT if he had his finger on the trigger or not! HE HAD A GUN IN HIS HAND FIRST! H-E-L-L-O?

There needs to be NO story subsequent to being under arrest, tazered, AND HIM HAVING A GUN IN HIS HAND!!!! GET IT??!!



You know this because your God told you so?

Lots of murders have murdered because God told them to.

Vince Li, the guy who beheaded a fellow passenger on a bus in Canada, was told by God to do it.

Andrea Yates, Texas’ homeschooling mother of the year, also was told by God to drown her five children…as was Deanna Laney, who saw herself as a “religious sister” to Andrea Yates.

The official story of the Santa Maria shootings in question has too many questions and issues to automatically believe it.

There has yet to have been disclosure on why they taxed Mr. Ceballos. Why are they withholding that information? Don’t you find it very aberrant that the police have not come forward with this information? If it helped exonerate the two SMPD officers for the murder of Mr. Ceballos, they would have immediately disclosed it. So why the silence?

In addition, they have yet to explain how it is that two SMPD officers ended up shooting each other while trying to murder Mr. Ceballos. How do the two cops shoot each other? They are extensively trained how to specifically avoid this type of injury. Yet, they ended up shooting each other.

The story, from the beginning, has not made sense. If your God cannot see through the lack of disclosure and unexplained actions by the SMPD which occurred while they were murdering a civilian, then you might want to think about changing gods.


Don’t start with me again Teddy. All I said is the story seemed a little odd that the cops shot each other when the original story sounder like he shot them. So, no that has changed to he had his hand on a gun so they shot him. I don’t like stories that involve cops changing their tune. They are all taught to lie very well in the academy. I have seen it first hand. But I guess you are believing what this particular story says. When you capitalize a whole sentence, I will pretty much ignore you. GET IT!!!!!! You are a whacko.


Teddy likes attention and believes that he is clever. He is extremely full of himself and you’re better off ignoring him.


I’m sure a lot of you have kids, or have had the opportunity to have to watch kids sometimes. You know how when you catch them doing something, and they lie, their stories never quite make sense or there are lots of “I don’t knows” or other vague comments? The fact is that when people are telling the truth it just flows out, it all makes sense, and you aren’t left with a bunch of nagging questions in your head. Well, after reading some more stories on this, particularly the ones in the Santa Maria Times, and comments from some people in the immediate area, I gotta tell you, the police story as it is (and as it has been changing) does not pass the smell test. It changes every time they tell it, and things just do not add up. The sequence of events doesn’t make sense. They are still using the term “shootout” to describe what happened. But if he never fired the gun, why would you choose that word?

I see lots of thumbs down votes on comments that are critical of the police. That’s a pretty good sign that the cops are out in force on the news sites checking the comment sections and trying to influence public opinion. The people aren’t that stupid though. One by one they are starting to catch on, and that support for police that even the most conservative citizen used to have, is waning.

I’m not saying everyone like me who is being an armchair quarterback is necessarily right, but I really hope that at minimum, people ASK QUESTIONS, lots and lots of questions.


You are SO RIGHT ON the mark mkaney!!! Arm chair quarterbacking or not, WE the people pay their salaries and I think we have EVERY right to question something like this in any matter (guns being fired) but especially when there is a story in constant fluctuation. You are right that, this is the time when lies are being told a lot of times, when the story can’t stay the same.

I am a conservative who has stood behind cops many a time when they are right but when they screw up they don’t get a special pass. You answer for your mistakes just like the rest of us.


MCKANEY: “They are still using the term “shootout” to describe what happened. But if he never fired the gun, why would you choose that word?”


Thanks for pointing that out. Good call.


I’m curious about the tazer incident and how that went down. Did he have his window rolled down and they tazered him through the window? Did they tazer him because he refused to exit the truck or refused to put his hands where they could see them? I thought that a tazer renders the recipient immobile? If it does, then I wonder why they didn’t just pull him out of the truck while he was being energized.

Either way I assume he was tazered for refusing to exit the truck so after they gave him a jolt (they love to do that stuff) they shut off the feed to allow him enough control to comply with their commands and he opened the door. I would assume that he was seen at that moment with the gun and someone yelled gun and they shot him which would be appropriate regardless if his finger was on the trigger, next to the trigger or on the handle. He got out of the truck by order of the law with a freaking gun in his hand!!! If he had the gun in his hand, of course they shot him, they should shoot him, I would shoot him too if I were a cop. Why would we believe that he didn’t have a gun? This occurred in broad daylight in the middle of the street while people were escorting their children to school.

As to how the officers shot each other, perhaps they were standing at an angle to his right of the drivers door and also to his left and the bullets went through the door while it was opened and they were shooting? They probably initially tazered him from the same angle/position? Makes perfect sense to me.


We will never know the truth Cindy. But in any case they cops shouldn’t have shot themselves. I remember seeing cops on TV surrounding a car and remarking to my father who did stint in LE that they were going to shoot each other. He said they are well trained not to do that and they are all very aware of where the other cops are. My point is that there is no excuse. They probably were amped and the adrenaline was flowing and they simply blew it, very unprofessional. The sad part is that we will never know if this killing was justified. Maybe it was, maybe not.


Somewhere in sands of the desert

A shape with lion body and the head of a man,

A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,

Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it

Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.


That was thought provoking?


I think he was channeling Gary Busey.


I don’t know……….. I kinda liked it!


Freaking morbid!


If a paroled Gang member brings out a gun in Police presence, he certainly knows that he will be shot and possiby killed. He is(was) dumb, not stupid…..or is it the other way around? or not? Good job SMPD! Sad to hear of your injuries in the heat of battle.


It doesn’t occur to you at all that something doesn’t pass the smell test here? If he had his finger on the trigger, as the chief claims, why wouldn’t he have have actually shot. Clearly, as you stated, he knows if he brings the gun out they’re going to open fire, so it makes no sense that he wouldn’t immediately attempt to shoot them. It sounds to me like the gun was planted.


We’ll never know. I believe with cops that this type stuff happens more frequently than we like to think. What can you do, we need cops but it seems like most of them get a bit crazy in the head after years of dealing with the worse dregs of society and then there are those of them that are on power trips and should never be cops in the first place.


What do you mean, “we’ll never know”?

There are huge numbers of police who have been caught both shooting and tazing without justifiable cause.

I agree with you about the issues police develop after being on the job, working in the field, for years. I think they have walking PTSD. When out on patrol, if they let their guard down for a second, there is always the chance they can be attacked by a civilian “with issues,” as my brother-in-law used to say.

However, that doesn’t give them a free pass to abuse their authority, using the TASER as a crutch for an inability to handle the problem by a less harmful approach.

So, we agree and disagree–as usual, lol.


I’m not anti cop, not at all but there are so many illegal and bad actions that cops get away with. When they get caught then we are lucky but that is rare IMO and only happens if there happens to be a video of the situation. If they were trigger happy then there is a possibility that they made it look as if they were in danger when in reality they might not have been. I’m not saying that’s the case, as I said we may never know but I certainly know that this type of cr@p happens all the time. I hope that if they did unjustifiably shoot this guy that they get caught but if that’s the case then I wouldn’t hold my breath.


EXACTLY. The whole Ceballos-gun-holding-finger-on-trigger-but-standing-there-like-a-stump-and-not-shooting-even-as-SMPD-was-slaughtering-him-with-gunfire scenario is just plain hinky.

It also sounds to me like the gun was planted.

The Gimlet Eye

mkaney, it’s called a “throwdown gun.” That’s an old police trick to cover their extrajudicial killing.


““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.”

Well how did they know? Shoot some one with a taser, without being provoked or assaulted, kind of weird, ?

“Shoot them all and let god sort them out” Police academy movie at best, the whole thing is lame, bottom line the cops scewwed up big time just like years ago in front of the Paso Court house, when the fired off what fifty to 200 rounds into a couple discussed with the paso court.

They did shoot one of their own then too?


Every time that I see a story like this it makes my blood boil. The Santa Maria police force is obviously inept and their performance in this case and the case of the warrant for the guy already incarcerated proves it. As I said re. the cops involved in the UC Davis incident, there are plenty of good cops that are truly interested in “protect & serve” situations to protect the public. Unfortunately, most cops couldn’t get any other job and their behavior when given a badge & gun is quite porcine…OINK!!!