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Attempted murder investigation underway in Santa Maria following shooting

It was a quiet morning soon turned into confusion and panic for one Santa Maria neighborhood.

“I was going to take my mom to go pay bills and I was outside and out of nowhere I heard three gunshots and I ran inside because I was scared.”

After waiting a few minutes a neighbor who asked to remain anonymous, because he was scared for his safety, says he and his mom decided to try and leave their house and were surprised by what they saw on the sidewalk.

“It was kinda difficult to process it – because I had never seen a body on the floor that someone got shot. So it was like whoa – that was serious. That’s not something you see every day.”

Santa Maria Police say around 10:45 Tuesday morning officers found a man with multiple gunshot wounds on the corner of Western Avenue and Battles Road. They now believe this shooting was gang related, outside a neighborhood that’s typically quiet.

“I can’t remember an incident we’ve had right here of this type of violence,” said Lt. Paul Van Meel of the Santa Maria Police Department.

For some neighbors in Pacific Crest, they’re now considering stepping up their security.

“My mom was actually talking to my sister when she came home during lunch and saying that she wants to be more secure, she wants to be safe, she doesn’t want anything to happen to us or anyone around.”

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The suspects left the crime scene before officers arrived. SMPD says the only suspect description at this time is that two Hispanic men driving a dark-colored, 4-door car were involved.

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Jesus Caro with the Santa Maria Police Department at 805-928-3781 ext. 1304.

The victim was air-lifted to Cottage Hospital to treat his injuries.

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