Four deputies responding to a triple homicide in Orcutt last week fired 23 rounds at suspect David McNabb after he pointed a rifle toward them, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office said Friday in a news release that offered new details about the incident on Dec. 28.
According to the release, two deputies first fired a total of six less-than-lethal rounds at McNabb, including two foam baton rounds and four shotgun beanbag rounds.
After those rounds were deployed, McNabb moved, and the rifle he was reportedly holding moved in the direction of the deputies, who viewed it as a lethal threat. The four deputies then fired a total of 23 .223-caliber rifle rounds.
The report said the firearm that McNabb brandished, a Browning .243 caliber lever-action rifle, was found to be unloaded. Authorities said that McNabb’s father appeared to be the owner of the firearm.
An autopsy conducted on Thursday determined that McNabb died from multiple gunshot wounds. The examination revealed that he was hit by two less-than-lethal rounds and sustained five gunshot wounds. The final autopsy report is pending a toxicology result.
One other autopsy was conducted on Friday, with two more scheduled next week to determine the cause and manner of death of the three homicide victims: Nicole McNabb, Melanie McNabb and Carlos Echavarria. The release said that preliminary reports indicate that the victims did not suffer gunshot wounds, but died as a result of being stabbed or severely beaten.
The motive for the murders remains under investigation.