Santa Maria man arrested for shooting 15-year-old girl

April 10, 2024

Leonel Narciso Sanchez


Police arrested a Santa Maria man on Tuesday for a drive-by shooting that wounded a 15-year-old girl earlier this year. 

At approximately 3:15 a.m. on Feb. 1, a 911 caller reported a shooting in the 800 block of Stanford Drive in Santa Maria. Officers arrived at the scene and found the teenage girl suffering from a gunshot wound, according to the Santa Maria Police Department.

Officers determined a group of young adults and juveniles had been hanging out in a nearby park before a second group arrived and a physical fight ensued. When the fight ended, the second group entered a vehicle while the first group remained in the park.

The driver of the vehicle attempted to run over the initial group of people, police say. The car then stopped, and the driver fired shots at the group of young adults and juveniles. 

Gunfire struck the 15-year-old victim. The girl later received treatment for her injuries.

Santa Maria detectives took over the investigation. Detectives identified 23-year-old Leonel Narciso Sanchez as the driver and the shooter. 

On Feb. 7, detectives obtained an arrest warrant for Sanchez. Subsequently, authorities entered the warrant into law enforcement databases. 

Then on Tuesday, investigators developed a lead on Sanchez’s whereabouts. At about 10:30 a.m., with assistance from patrol officers, Santa Maria detectives conducted an operation that led to a traffic stop and the arrest of Sanchez.

After taking Sanchez into custody, authorities served a search warrant at the suspect’s home in the 1700 block of S. Biscayne Street in Santa Maria. The search yielded evidence connected to the shooting.

Police booked Sanchez in Santa Barbara County Jail on a warrant for shooting from a vehicle; assault with a deadly weapon, a vehicle; and assault with a deadly weapon, a firearm. The Santa Maria man’s bail was set at $250,000.

The police department asks that anyone who has information related to the case contact Detective Peinado at (805) 928-3781 ext. 1357 or Detective Yee at (805) 928-3781 ext. 1371.


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