(Update 3:00 p.m.)
Santa Maria Police have identified the deceased suspect as 27-year-old Evan Davis.
Investigators say they found him dead at the scene of the arson but they are still trying to identify his cause of death.
Police say the condition of the girlfriend is still unknown.
(Update 10:00 p.m.)
A dramatic and chaotic scene unfolded in Santa Maria Tuesday, as a vehicle pursuit and apartment fire turned deadly.
A California Highway Patrol Officer tells us a young man in his 20’s was pronounced dead on the scene and his girlfriend is in the hospital after authorities say the two barricaded themselves in a Santa Maria apartment.
CHP says this all started with a simple traffic violation around 3:00 p.m. just off Santa Maria Way.
A CHP Officer tried to stop the driver of a Jeep Liberty, who pulled out of the Mission Creek Village Apartment complex, traveling at a high rate of speed. A short pursuit took place and officers lost track of the vehicle.
About 30 minutes later, officials say the same Jeep was spotted in a nearby restaurant parking lot. They ran the registration and got in touch with the owner of the vehicle, who is a tenant at the Mission Creek Village Apartments.
After talking with nearby residents, officers determined that the tenant is the mother of the female subject, who was inside the apartment with her boyfriend, the male victim.
The mom of the girlfriend and the dad of the boyfriend made contact with the pair and entered the apartment, unbeknownst to police.
Police followed behind the parents and when they entered the apartment they could smell smoke and see large smoke plumes billowing from under a barricaded bedroom door.
Officers had to kick down the door and use a bean bag shotgun to gain entry into the bedroom, as the door was blocked with dressers.
CHP says a bed and several clothing items were on fire and the male and female suspects were barricaded inside a connecting bathroom.
Officers then attempted to break into that bathroom but as the flames and danger grew, they had to retreat and call in the Santa Maria Fire Department to evacuate residents.
“Fire department showed up on scene and took care of the fire. When they were finally able to enter the bathroom, they found the male subject and the female subject both unconscious. The fire department brought them downstairs. They were unable to resuscitate the male subject who was pronounced deceased at the scene by medial personal at approximately 1841 hours. The female subject was placed in an ambulance at taken to Marian Medical Center. CPR was done on the female, they were able to resuscitate her, bring back a pulse and able to have her breathing and talking by the time they arrived at the hospital,” said Officer Danny Maher, CHP Coastal Division Public Information Officer.
Officers believe the now-deceased boyfriend was the one driving the Jeep that kicked this whole ordeal off. They think the young man parked the car at the restaurant and then ran back to the apartment.
Two firefighters were injured, officials said.
We do not know the female subject’s condition at this time.
CHP and Santa Maria Police are taking over the investigation and CHP believes this will be a criminal investigation
It’s unknown if the girlfriend or boyfriend lived at the Mission Creek Village Apartment with the girlfriend’s mother.
Ten residents were displaced as the building has been deemed uninhabitable, fire officials said. The cost of damage is estimated at $500,000.
(Update 9:00 p.m.)
One person is dead after a simple traffic violation turns into a CHP pursuit gone awry in Santa Maria.
Around 3 p.m. on Tuesday a California Highway Patrol officer tried to pull over a vehicle when the driver fled the scene. The license plate was traced back to the parents of a female inside the vehicle.
The couple ended up inside the Mission Creek Village Apartments, where the owner of the vehicle resides. The couple barricaded themselves inside of a bedroom and set a bed on fire, according to CHP officials.
Officials say the two suspects were a boyfriend and girlfriend. The boyfriend died on the scene, the girlfriend is being treated for her injuries. No other information about the couple was given besides officials were speaking with the parents of the girlfriend.
Fire crews are battling a home fire in the 600 block of East Sunrise Drive in the city of Santa Maria.
Early reports indicate California Highway Patrol was in pursuit of at least one suspect who apparently ran into an apartment before the fire broke out.
According to Emergency Traffic Radio, the suspect began lighting the home on fire.
No further details were immediately known. Check back for updates to this developing story.