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Homicide investigation underway after deadly shooting at Goleta hotel, victim identified

Atmika Iyer/Daily Nexus
Atmika Iyer/Daily Nexus. Daily Nexus story available here:

GOLETA, Calif. - The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office is investigating a deadly shooting in Goleta Thursday night.

The sheriff's office said it happened just after 8 p.m. in the 5400 block of Hollister Avenue at the Pacifica Suites Hotel.

Investigators said they were called to the area for reports of shots fired.

There were no medical units called to the hotel at the time of the shooting.

A vehicle was reportedly seen by witnesses leaving from the scene and damaging a light pole on the way out.

Repair crews were on the property Friday morning.

The sheriff's office said the incident was a homicide.

An hour after the deputies arrived to the scene, a gunshot wound victim arrived at Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital where he died from his injuries.

As of 5:15 p.m. on Friday, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's office identified the victim as 43-year-old Richard Andrew Cardano of Goleta.

The office said the investigation shows that the victim and the suspect were familiar with each other, and this was not a random attack.

Atmika Iyer/Daily Nexus. Daily Nexus story available here

Deputies said the investigation was ongoing and updates would be shared when they become available.

An emergency alert was sent out to UCSB students shortly after 8:30 p.m. Thursday telling people to avoid the area. It also said shelter in place for those at the hotel. It was called off about an hour later.

The hotel has been used for over flow student housing, but that program has ended at Pacifica Suites according to the hotel property management, speaking with Newschannel 3-12 near the shooting scene, in or near a hotel room.

UCSB officials said "we do not currently have any UC Santa Barbara students being housed at Pacifica Suites in Goleta, and none of our students were there yesterday."

The hotel is booking for regular overnight stays and remains open.

The location is between Patterson Avenue and the Highway 217 freeway on ramp. The historic Sexton House is walking distance from the front the Pacifica Suites front door.

Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital is about two blocks away. Witnesses say Sheriff's personnel were at the emergency room entrance after the shooting.

Sheriff’s detectives are continuing this investigation, and anyone with information is encouraged to contact Sheriff’s detectives at 805-681-4150.  If you prefer to remain anonymous, you can provide information by calling the tip line at 805-681-4171 or online at

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County
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John Palminteri

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