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3 arrested in connection to Santa Barbara double homicide

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Three people have been arrested as suspects in connection to a January double homicide in Santa Barbara's Eastside.

Santa Barbara police and sheriff's deputies arrested three suspects in the deaths of Angel Castillo and Omar Montiel-Hernandez who were gunned down in the area of Liberty Street and South Soledad Street. Two others were injured in the shooting on January 3.

According to a press release from the Santa Barbara Police Department, a 26-year-old man, a 25-year-old man and an 18-year-old man were arrested as part of the investigation. All three men are Carpinteria residents.

The three men face possible charges for murder with special allegations that the murders were committed in association with a criminal street gang.

As part of the investigation, warrants were served at several locations along the south coast Thursday. Police and members of the sheriff's SWAT team served warrants at two homes on the 1000 block of Cramer Road in Carpinteria and a residence under construction on the 2300 block of Golden Gate Avenue in Summerland. The Carpinteria search warrants prompted a shelter-in-place order to local residents that was lifted around 10 a.m.

In Summerland witnesses said, workers and others were held at gunpoint until the suspects were in handcuffs.

In both locations, numerous heavily armed officers were utilized along with two special enforcement vehicles.

Residents outside said they were surprised but did not say whether or not they suspected anyone near them had been involved in a major crime.

"The arrests today represent the culmination of weeks of planning and investigative work," said Santa Barbara Police Chief Bernard Melekian. "While we recognize that nothing we have done here can bring back the lives that were lost, detectives never stopped working on this case, and hopefully prevented future acts of retaliation which, lead in turn, to more tragedy. As a society we must continue to work with the young people in our community to ensure that no more lives are lost.”

The three suspects have been booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail where they are being held without bail. The investigation is ongoing and there is no more information available at this time, police said.

Article Topic Follows: Crime & Courts

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John Palminteri

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