Three people were found dead and the suspected killer shot by Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies Friday night at a house in Oakhill Estates in southern Orcutt.
Early Saturday, it was reported that the suspect — later identified as 43-year-old David Gerald McNabb of Orcutt — was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
The victims were identified as McNabb’s sister Nicole McNabb, 34, his mother Melanie McNabb, 64, and Carlos Echavarria, 63, all of Orcutt.
Deputies were dispatched at about 8 p.m. to the 5900 block of Oakhill Drive, off Graciosa Road about a half-mile south of Highway 135/Orcutt Expressway, according to sheriff’s spokeswoman Kelly Hoover.
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Dispatchers were called by a person who entered her home on Oakhilll Drive and “found a bloody scene inside,” Hoover said. “She discovered a victim covered in blood in a bathtub, fled the residence and called for help.”
Responding deputies determined that a man armed with a rifle was inside the house, and there were likely multiple injured victims in the residence.
“It became a situation where they needed to go in and rescue the people who were inside the home,” Hoover said.
She said deputies contacted the armed subject and “were in a position where they had to shoot the subject in order to subdue him.”
Sheriff’s Special Enforcement Team deputies entered the house and during a “confrontation” with the suspect, the man was “initially shot with less-lethal munitions, followed by the use of deadly force,” she said in a statement early Saturday.
He was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead early Saturday, Hoover said.
The suspected killer formerly worked at the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office as a custody deputy from July 2001 to March 2012, when he voluntarily resigned, the Sheriff’s Office said. In September 2012, he was arrested by Oxnard police and booked at the Ventura County Jail, according to a Sheriff’s Office press release, and convicted of felony domestic violence and sentenced to jail in May 2014.
Deputies searched the residence and discovered three bodies inside, she said. The Sheriff’s Office said the three victims were brutally stabbed and beaten to death by the suspect, who also lived at the residence. A motive for this deadly rampage was unknown and is under investigation.
The person who reported the incident to dispatchers escaped the house and apparently was not injured, Hoover said.
“This appears to be a situation where it was isolated to this residence,” she said. “It’s still very early, but at this time and this point it appears to be a very tragic situation.”
Due to the report of an armed man inside the home, the county Office of Emergency Management sent out messages telling residents of the Oakhill Estates neighborhood to “shelter in place until further notice.”
The Sheriff’s Department set up a command post at a nearby church on East Rice Ranch Road, and a Bearcat armored vehicle responded to the scene.
Several roads were blocked off, preventing even residents from reaching their homes.