A 59-year-old Guadalupe man was shot and killed Saturday when a police officer fired at a wanted suspect but, instead, hit the man who was sitting inside a vehicle near Birch and Obispo streets.
The incident occurred shortly after 9:30 p.m., when Guadalupe Police Department officers recognized the suspect who had a no-bail warrant near the intersection, said Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Raquel Zick.
At some point, an officer fired their weapon at the suspect but struck Juan Luis Olvera-Preciado, who was inside a vehicle in the 100 block of Obispo Street and was not involved in the incident. He died at the scene at 10:15 p.m., Zick said.
The two Guadalupe officers who responded to the incident were not injured.
The identity of the suspect and the officer involved in the shooting are being withheld until additional interviews and investigative processes are completed, Zick added.
Sheriff's Office detectives and forensics technicians responded to the scene at the request of Guadalupe Police Chief Michael Cash.
Detectives quickly realized the incident met the criteria of AB1506, which requires the state Attorney General's Office to investigate incidents of officer-involved shootings that result in the death of an unarmed civilian, according to Zick.
Investigators from the Department of Justice are leading the criminal investigation that will focus on events that occurred after the officers contacted the suspect.
The Sheriff's Office is assisting in the effort, and the Santa Maria Police Department will conduct the administrative investigation at the request of Cash, Zick said.
Cash personally met with the Olvera-Preciado family to offer his condolences, according to Zick.