Witness describes Nipomo shooting incident

August 22, 2020

Law enforcement around the body of the shooter, photo by Richard Bastian


A Central Valley man died in a gun battle with CHP officers and San Luis Obispo County Sheriff deputies in Nipomo on Friday afternoon following an argument with a woman, according to a man who witnessed the argument.

At about 11:30 a.m., the man began yelling at a woman in a car with two small children in the Von’s parking lot. He then began shooting into the air, said William Farnsworth, who was walking his dog on Tefft Street.

Photo by Richard Bastian

“She yelled, ‘What are you stupid. Stop. Stop,’ ” Farnsworth said. “It appeared to be a domestic issue.”

Indiscriminately shooting about nine rounds, the gunman hit a transformer and a Cal Fire truck, Farnsworth said. The woman drove away heading towards Highway 101.

Shortly after deputies arrived,  the shooter went inside the gas station and shot three rounds, while employees locked themselves in an office. He then exited the building and a gunfight with law enforcement ensued. A K9 bit the man in the arm.

By Richard Bastian

“He did not move, indicating he had died,” Farnsworth said.

Deputies are not releasing the identity of the alleged shooter pending notification of his next of kin.

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Very Scary, I stop at the gas station when visiting in the area…

Thank you to the K-9 unit for the all clear verification.

Thank you Officers,Emergency staff, , Calcoast news for providing the story and great pictures to keep us informed

I SUPPORT THE POLICE…. always. Thank you Blue for all you do.

I, too, support the police . . . . but ‘always?’ Hmmmm

Great work LEO’s! I am glad Nipomo did not have to go thru what Paso did. Our LEOs did a great job but your town is not the same. It is still bothering me some random person came here and decided this was the place. I do not want that for any town.

Good shooting deputies, considering the fuel pumps and people running about, y’all did good.

Extremely rare and unlikely for a service station gas pump to explode if hit by a bullet. But it does look cool in the movies.

You are correct, however, there was an entire tank truck full of gasoline parked in one of the drive through bays preparing to unload fuel when the gunman started shooting and one of his bullets hit a power line that started sparking. If a bullet pierced that tank causing fuel to spill out and the fumes hit the sparks at the power line this might have been a real tragedy.

So yes, good shooting deputies.

Actually a full fuel truck would be less likely to explode than a recently emptied one, fumes…..