UPDATE: Police have identified the two Allan Hancock College basketball players who were taken into custody in Santa Maria over the weekend.
Just before midnight Saturday, Santa Maria police Lt. Dan Cohen announced that Lavell White, 22, and Ali Mohammed, 19, both of Santa Maria, had been arrested and booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on murder charges. Bail was set at $1 million each.
Two Allan Hancock College basketball players have been taken into custody in connection with a homicide, Santa Maria police Lt. Dan Cohen confirmed Saturday night.
Earlier Saturday, the Special Weapons and Tactics Team served two search warrants in connection with the investigation into the murder of Terence Richardson, 23, of Santa Maria, Cohen said.
Police began investigating Richardson’s death Dec. 30, when he was taken to Marian Regional Medical Center with gunshot wounds. He died at the hospital.
“As a result of evidence and interviews, detectives have arrested two people in connection with this case,” Cohen said in a news release at 10 p.m. Saturday, adding that interviews were still under way.
“The identities of the two people arrested will be released as soon as it can be accomplished without compromising the investigation,” he added. “We will release more information as soon as possible.”
Police have been investigating two apparently unrelated fatal shootings that occurred in late December.
The first incident occurred early Dec. 22 in the 1000 block of West Morrison Avenue. The victim, Pedro Antonio Lainez-Lopez, 28, of Santa Maria, was found in a vehicle with multiple gunshot wounds.
Eight days later, they began investigating the death of Richardson.
A spokesman for Hancock College noted that school officials had been informed of the arrests, but not the charges the players face.
“Allan Hancock College has and will continue to cooperate fully with the Santa Maria Police Department during its investigation,” college officials said in a statement released Saturday night.
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