Crime

Oceano man killed in apparent shooting; sheriff looking for suspects

San Luis Obispo County sheriff’s deputies are investigating a homicide in Oceano after they found a man apparently shot to death early Wednesday morning.

Deputies were called to a home in the 2200 block of Beach Street just after midnight on reports of an assault with a deadly weapon, according to a Sheriff’s Office news release.

When they arrived, they found a man dead inside a home.

The Sheriff’s Office said the man, who lived in the area, apparently knocked on a neighbor’s door and told the residents inside that he had been shot. He died shortly afterward, according to the release.

The homicide is believed to be an isolated incident, and there is no threat to the public, the Sheriff’s Office said. Authorities hadn’t identified any suspects as of 10:15 a.m. Wednesday.

The Sheriff’s Office has launched a “full-scale investigation,” and officials are currently in the process of interviewing witnesses and collecting evidence, according to the release.

OceanoHomocide002
San Luis Obispo County sheriff’s deputies investigate a homicide that happened in Oceano on the 2200 block of Beach Street early Wednesday morning. Joe Johnston jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

The quiet beachside neighborhood was relatively calm Wednesday morning, except for the activity of sheriff’s deputies and an occasional car driving by.

Birds were chirping. At one point, a dog could be heard barking and a rooster crowed in the distance.

One woman who used to live in the area expressed shock when she saw what transpired on Beach Street. She said she was concerned for the state of the community.

“I told my husband, ‘Things in Oceano have gotten out of hand,’ ” said Yaneli Lopez, who was raised in Oceano but moved to Santa Maria a few months ago.

Lopez drove by the scene with her young son on their way home Wednesday and wondered what had transpired.

“I just passed through and thought, ‘What the heck is going on?’ ” she said.

Stella Medina, a family advocate, came to the area Wednesday morning to see what happened. She’s worked in Oceano as an advocate for 13 years.

“It makes me nervous about who it could be,” Medina said. “This is a small community, a great community, and everybody knows everybody. I’m heartbroken for the family.”

Wednesday’s homicide is the second in Oceano in 2019.

In January, 90-year-old Larry Bross was found killed in his home in the 1400 block of Strand Way, less than 2 miles from the Beach Street incident. The Sheriff’s Office said his cause of death was “multiple chop force traumatic injuries.” No arrests have been made in the case.

Sheriff’s spokesman Tony Cipolla said there’s no indication the two homicides are related.

Police ask anyone with information to call the Sheriff’s Office at 805-781-4550 or CrimeStoppers at 805-549-7867.

This story will be updated as information becomes available.

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Gabby Ferreira is a breaking news and general assignment reporter at The Tribune in San Luis Obispo. A native of Houston, Texas, she was a reporter in Tucson, Arizona; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Palm Springs, California, before moving to San Luis Obispo County in 2016.
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