Skip to Content

Man who waved assault rifle in Santa Barbara restaurant may have fled area

soto gun in restaurant
Santa Barbara Police Department
Police are looking for a man who brandished an assault rifle at a Santa Barbara restaurant

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Santa Barbara Police Department says a man who pointed an assault rifle at a woman at a Santa Barbara restaurant may have fled the area. The man is wanted on attempted murder charges.

The incident took place on Thursday, July 9. Police received numerous frantic 911 calls regarding a man with an "AK-47-style assault rifle" on the patio of Los Agaves on the 600 block of North Milpas Street.

Witnesses said they saw a man confronting a woman while holding the gun. The man pointed the gun at the woman and then fled in a vehicle. There were no shots fired during the altercation, but a loaded magazine was found at the scene.

Although no shots were fired, police believe the man actually attempted to fire his gun, but it appears the firearm may have malfunctioned. Video surveillance corroborated the witnesses reports, police said.

Police say the incident appears to be related to domestic violence.

The man has been identified Jaime Soto Hernandez, 41, of Ojai. Soto's vehicle, a late-model GMC truck, was located by law enforcement in the Los Angeles area the evening of the incident.

41-year old Jaime Soto Hernandez of Ojai

Multiple agencies have been working to locate Soto, but all efforts have been unsuccessful so far.

The Santa Barbara Police Department said it has reason to believe that Soto is no longer in the area. but it is possible some of Soto’s friends or acquaintances in the area may know his new whereabouts.

Police are asking anyone with additional information on Soto to contact Santa Barbara Police Detective Megan Harrison at 805-897-2343. You may remain anonymous.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Travis Schlepp

Travis Schlepp is the Digital Content Director for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Travis, click here.


News Channel 3-12 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content