Details, video of Orcutt officer involved fatal shooting

April 8, 2023


Detectives released additional details and a video today of the fatal shooting involving an off-duty Santa Maria police officer outside the Melody Mini Market in Orcutt on March 25.

Shortly before 8 p.m., two vehicles, each with four occupants inside, parked at the Melody Market. With an off-duty Santa Maria Police Officer and others shopping in the market, the eight occupants of two vehicles began fighting in the store’s parking lot.

As the off-duty officer returned to his vehicle, 19-year-old Manuel Reyes Rios pulled out a firearm and shot at the other group, striking one of them. Rios then ran past the off-duty officer who had drawn his firearm and police badge.

The off-duty officer identified himself as law enforcement and ordered Rios to stop shooting and surrender.

Instead, Rios raised his firearm and shot again at the other group and towards an occupied restaurant. Flying debris at the restaurant injured one patron.

The off-duty police officer fired at Rios until he dropped to the ground, called emergency services, and ushered the uninvolved bystanders into the market and sheltered them inside until deputies arrived.

Emergency personnel pronounced Rios dead outside the market. The other subjects involved in the altercation fled the scene before deputies arrived.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office released a short video clip that show Rios, who is wearing a red hooded sweatshirt, during his first round of shooting. The county provided a shortened video in an attempt not to compromise the ongoing investigation.

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A big THANK YOU to all LEO’s and their families out there who, every day of their lives in that capacity, put on their uniforms, leave their families at home, and go out to keep law and order on what has become more and more, a very lawless country, world, and streets.

The Lord keep and hold all of you safe and protected always.