Man who shot at Santa Maria CHP officers gets 118 years in prison

May 23, 2024

Dustin Daniel Morales


A judge on Tuesday sentenced a man to 118 years to life in prison for a crime spree in which he shot at a Santa Maria police officer, as well as at CHP officers. [KSBY]

On Nov. 4, 2020, a Santa Maria officer spotted Dustin Daniel Morales, then a wanted man, in the River Ranch apartment complex and attempted to arrest him. While struggling with the officer, Morales pulled out a gun. He managed to break free from the officer and started to run away.

The officer chased after Morales. As Morales was fleeing, he tripped and fell, then turned toward the officer and fired a single shot. The shot missed. 

Because of the proximity of multiple apartments, the officer did not return fire. This allowed Morales to get away, according to the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office.

Morales carjacked a driver, stealing the person’s van. After ditching the van, Morales received a ride from someone and eventually ended up in Los Angeles.

While in Los Angeles, Morales fled from the CHP. Morales fired multiple shots at CHP officers who were chasing him. 

He then crashed the vehicle he was driving, after which Morales broke into a home and barricaded himself inside. Eventually, Morales surrendered.

In April, a jury convicted Morales, 31, of attempted murder on a peace officer, assault with a semiautomatic firearm on a peace officer and carjacking. 

Prior to the Nov. 2020 crime spree, Morales had committed two serious felonies. California’s three strikes law factored into him receiving a life sentence. 


1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Tattooed lips and a baby’s footprint…must be a real family man.