Avila Beach man allegedly attempted to kill a homeless person

June 4, 2024

David Garcia Ochoa


A 28-year-old Avila Beach man is in jail after he allegedly attempted to kill a homeless man in Santa Maria early Sunday morning.

Shortly after 7 a.m., officers responded to reports of an injured person in a commercial parking lot on the 1700 block of S. Broadway. The victim had been walking through the parking lot at 3 a.m. when they were attacked.

Officers arrived to find a male transient suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Medical personnel transported the victim to a local hospital where he continues to receive treatment.

Santa Maria Police Department detectives quickly identified David Garcia Ochoa as the primary suspect. Ochoa, who was working as an unarmed private security guard responsible for the security of construction equipment and supplies near the crime scene, was illegally carrying a loaded firearm at the job site prior to the shooting.

Ochoa fled the scene after the shooting and never notified law enforcement.

On Monday, Santa Maria officers served a search warrant at Ochoa’s residence in the 200 block of Avila Beach Drive. Ochoa was taken into custody without incident, and evidence connected to the investigation was recovered from his residence.

Officers booked Ochoa into the Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of attempted murder. He is being held in lieu of $1 million bail.

Investigators believe Ochoa may be connected to other crimes where a firearm was discharged and are working diligently on further investigative efforts.


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Homeless panhandlers can be extremely obnoxious. However, that doesn’t warrant use of deadly force on them. The best way to get rid of panhandlers is a few blasts from a portable compressed air horn.

Panhandling at 3am near a construction site is very unlikely. There must be more to this than was reported by the PD.