Santa Maria men arrested for Thanksgiving shooting

November 27, 2023



Sheriff’s deputies arrested two Santa Maria men following an apparent drive-by shooting near Goleta on Thanksgiving morning.

Shortly before 9 a.m. on Thursday, a 911 caller reported a shooting from a vehicle in the 1300 block of Ellwood Ranch Road. As deputies came out to the scene, the suspects fled in a vehicle toward Cathedral Oaks Road, according to the sheriff’s office. 

Shortly afterwards, a deputy spotted the suspects’ vehicle in the 7000 block of Hollister Avenue and attempted to stop it. The driver did not stop and then led deputies on a short chase. 

The pursuit ended when the driver hit a stretch of sidewalk. Both occupants of the vehicle then fled on foot. 

Deputies quickly apprehended the suspects, 37-year-old Alejandro Maldonado and 31-year-old Edgar Bribiesca-Puga.

Investigators searched the suspects’ vehicle and found items stolen from an Elmwood Ranch Road home. Likewise, deputies found the handgun that was used in the shooting. The firearm was a .40 caliber ghost gun, sheriff’s officials said.

Authorities booked both Maldonado and Bribiesca-Puga in the Santa Barbara County Main Jail on felony charges including attempted murder, assault with a firearm, conspiracy, grand theft and burglary, as well as misdemeanor counts of obstruction, possession of a controlled substance, vandalism and possession of burglary tools. 

Maldonado was also booked on felony charges of assault with a deadly weapon that is not a firearm, driver allowing a firearm to be discharged from a vehicle, evading and driving the wrong way while evading, as well as misdemeanor offenses of reckless driving and driving on the wrong side of a divided highway. He is being held without bail for a probation violation.

Bribiesca-Puga was also booked on felony charges of shooting at a person from a vehicle, felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a controlled substance while armed with a loaded firearm, carrying a loaded firearm in public, felon in possession of ammunition and possession of an un-serialized firearm. He is being held with his bail set at $1 million.

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