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Two teens, one woman arrested during search for suspects in fatal shooting on Santa Barbara’s Eastside

Nelson Roosendahl

Editor's Note: The original version of this story misidentified the shooting victim as Victor Jesus Espinoza; his name has been corrected to Jesus Espinosa-Maldonado after Santa Barbara police released an updated report.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Santa Barbara police arrested two teens and one woman Friday evening during the investigation into Monday's ultimately fatal shooting on the Eastside.

The shooting occurred around 5:20 p.m. on Eucalyptus Hill Road near Salinas Street. Residents in the neighborhood called 911 after hearing multiple gunshots in the area.

Upon arriving, police found a man suffering from critical injuries inside a black SUV. The vehicle had shattered windows, two blown-out tires and was found crashed into a tree on Eucalyptus Hill Road.

Police said that the victim, identified as 23-year-old Jesus Espinosa-Maldonado from Oxnard, was transported to the hospital but unfortunately died from his wounds on Wednesday, March 31, at 11:28 a.m.

A witness in the area told police they saw one man, possibly connected to the shooting, run into the back or side yard of a home on the 200 block of Salinas Street.

The home was evacuated and a five-hour standoff ensued with help from the County Sheriff's Office, SBPD SWAT and Crisis Negotiation Response Teams as well as police K-9 units. Officers believed the suspect was hiding inside a shed near Kennedy's Automotive Center, however, after removing the doors to the shed, the suspect was not located.

The standoff ended and crews began clearing the scene around 11 p.m. while the investigation continued.

After less than a week, Santa Barbara police announced that two teen suspects, ages 17 and 15, were arrested in connection to the shooting on Friday. They are currently being held in the Santa Barbara Juvenile Hall and face charges for murder for the profit of a gang and gang felony use of a gun. Their names and other identifying information are being withheld due to their age.

Detectives also arrested a 39-year-old Santa Barbara woman for being an accessory to a felony with special circumstances and gang murder with the use of a firearm. She has been booked at the Santa Barbara County Jail.

The police department said it would like to thank the community members who assisted with the investigation, as well as the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office for their help during the initial shooting.

While these arrests have been made, the investigation into this shooting is ongoing.

Anyone with information about this case is urged to contact Santa Barbara Police Department detectives at 805-897-2300.

Santa Barbara - South County
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Jessica Brest

Jessica Brest is a digital journalist and assignment editor for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Jessica, click here.

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