Skip to Content

Santa Barbara DA: deputies who shot, killed Orcutt triple homicide suspect were justified in using deadly force

david mcnabb
David McNabb, killed by deputies after he killed three people inside an Orcutt home

ORCUTT, Calif. - The death of an Orcutt man who was shot and killed by Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Deputies were justified in using lethal force, according to Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley.

The investigation centered on the killing of 43-year-old David McNabb. McNabb was the suspect in a triple homicide in Orcutt.

On December 28, 2018, Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Deputies responded to 5984 Oakhill Drive in Orcutt after a woman called 911 after her finding her girlfriend unresponsive and covered in blood in a bathtub.

Deputies arrived on scene and found David McNabb standing at the base of the stairs in a hallway with a rifle and a visible knife in his possession. Deputies said McNabb was keeping deputies from reaching other victims inside the home.

Deputies took tactical positions in the home and for two hours attempted to get McNabb to drop his weapon.

McNabb, who at one time worked as a deputy in the Santa Barbara County Jail, refused to drop his weapon and told deputies to shoot him and "do your jobs well." After he refused, deputies fire non-lethal rounds to try and separate McNabb from his weapons.

McNabb was knocked to the ground but held onto his firearm. According to the investigation, he then pointed his rifle at deputies.

Four Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Deputies then opened fire on McNabb. He was hit multiple times.

As deputies tried to render aid to McNabb, he resisted and grabbed a deputy's firearm. He then pulled out a concealed knife and attempted to stab the deputy. That same deputy fire at McNabb in the chest.

McNabb was then treated by a medic and then taken to the hospital where he later died from multiple gunshot wounds.

Deputies searched the home and found three homicide victims: 34-year-old Nicole McNabb, David McNabb’s sister, was stabbed and beaten to death in the bathroom tub. Melanie McNabb, David McNabb’s mother, and Carlos Echavarria, Melanie McNabb’s fiancé, were stabbed and their heads were bludgeoned by a sledgehammer. Their bodies were found in the garage.

Both the bathroom and garage were blocked by McNabb while deputies were trying to get him to surrender. Deputies also found multiple knives scattered throughout the home. They also recovered the rifle and sledgehammer used in the murders.

Two knives were found under the stairs, two more knives were found at the base of the stairs. A fifth knife was found in the bathroom with the blade almost bent in half. The rifle and the sledgehammer were also recovered.

The Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office began investigating the shooting death of McNabb.

The investigation determined that the officers each acted reasonably the use of deadly force was justified.

McNabb had previously been arrested for domestic violence in 2014.

To read the district attorney's investigation summary, click here.

Safety / Santa Maria - North County

Travis Schlepp

Travis Schlepp is the Digital Content Director for KEYT | KCOY | KKFX.