Santa Barbara police identified the individual on Wednesday evening’s incident involving flammable liquid found around a home in the area of San Pascual and De la Guerra Streets as 30-year-old Santa Barbara resident Juan Luis Mora.
Police say a concerned neighbor called 911 reporting that Mora was pointing a gun at a woman while pouring gasoline inside the home. The caller also said Mora was acting erratically and threatening to burn the house down.
After authorities arrived on scene, several nearby residents were evacuated as a safety precaution.
An Arrest and React Team formed and on-duty Crisis Negotiators were dispatched to the scene.
“While the scene was being contained, the subject yelled to officers, ‘Leave or I’ll shoot you,’ as well as other threats and potential delusional statements,” said the Santa Barbara Police Department in a statement. “The suspect stated there were other subjects in the home with guns and knives and he was doing his part to flush them out by attempting to set the home ablaze.”
The statement continues to read:
“He continued to display erratic behavior during his frequent attempts to lean inside and outside the home. As the subject exited the door to the residence, officers identified themselves and negotiated with him in an effort de-escalate the situation. They gave clear and decisive verbal commands to come outside and surrender. At 5:35 PM the subject complied and was taken into custody without incident or use-of-force.”
No guns or other people were found inside the home at the time of the incident, but liquid flammable material was found inside the home, as well as narcotics and other drug paraphernalia according to SBPD.
Residents were able to return to their homes just after 6:00 p.m. when firefighters determined the scene was safe.
Mora was booked for narcotics and drug paraphernalia possession as well as threats made to police officers.
Santa Barbara police responded to reports of a possible armed man on Santa Barbara’s west side Wednesday evening.
Witnesses said they saw a man pouring some type of liquid around a home near the area of San Pascual and De la Guerra Streets just before 5:30 p.m.
Police took the man into custody shortly after arriving on the scene. Authorities found a fair amount of lighter fluid and a gas can around the property.
Santa Barbara City firefighters carefully cleared house by going through every single room and conducting a safety hazard check with Santa Barbara police assisting.
While police did not find a gun, they say the individual taken into custody made several remarks to his neighbors that he wanted to burn the house down.
No one was inside the home at the time of the incident.
De La Guerra Street was temporarily closed off between San Pascual Street and Marilla Avenue. Nearby Guadalajara Market was asked to close while the investigation continued.
Streets reopened just before 6:30 p.m. We will update this story when new information becomes available.