Jun 20, 2012 8:44 PM by Nikki Ibarra

Santa Maria police looking for person responsible in the stabbing death of man

Santa Maria police are looking for the person responsible for fatally stabbing a man early Wednesday.

KSBY has learned the victim, who was in his late 40's, was stabbed in the chest.

It happened on North Broadway and Bunny Street.

Police got a call around 2:45 AM of a possible traffic accident on North Broadway.

When police arrived, they found a man stabbed to death. Police won't be releasing the victim's name until all his family has been notified.

An employee at the 7-Eleven let KSBY see the surveillance footage. In it, you could see two men walking towards each other near the front entrance; and, they appeared to be fighting. The fight moved across the street, out of the cameras reach, to a corner where police found the man's body.

"I didn't know what to think. They just had this place all taped up and the lights were on and they came knocking on our door asking questions, and I didn't even know what happened," said Alfred Plaza, who was staying at the motel across the street.

People who live in the area woke up to police lights and yellow crime scene tape. But what lead up to this is still not clear.

Police got the first call, saying it was a traffic accident. But when they arrived on scene, they found a man stabbed to death.

"With all that's going on, it makes Santa Maria not such a good place to be visiting and stuff," said Eric Palmer of Santa Maria.

On Tuesday, Palmer had dinner near the area where the body was found. He said the violence hits too close to home. "Well to be so close, it could have been anyone," added Palmer.

For Larry Hendricks, also of Santa Maria, crime is pretty common around here. "That seems to happen quite a bit around here. I've seen the cops do quite a bit of stuff around here. You never know who you're going to run into around here in this town. I've been here long enough and seen enough," added Hendricks.

But for Palmer, he'll continue visiting the area, but will be extra cautious. "Definitely I've heard about a few gangs around the area but I didn't know it was that active," said Palmer.

Police know who they're looking for, but will not release that information at this time.

Police aren't saying if this is gang related or not.


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