A 70-year-old male Carpinteria resident allegedly shot and killed a 37-year-old female after a domestic dispute Monday evening.
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Dispatch received a 911 call at 5:03 p.m. from the suspect, Charles Watson Ford. Ford told dispatchers he had shot and killed someone and was going to kill himself at his 373 Elm St. residence.
Dispatchers kept Ford on the telephone while deputies responded to the scene. Upon their arrival, deputies evacuated approximately 15 to 20 residents at an apartment complex across the street from the scene, and approximately 10 to 15 people who were present at a nearby skatepark and Amtrak stop, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Dept. Public Information Officer Lt. Mike Burridge said.
“This residence is the last one on Elm Street, just south of the Amtrak stop. The train stop and the skatepark are about 50 yards away. Both places at this time in the evening can have a lot of people present,” Burridge said. “We evacuated immediately, because at that point you don’t know what the suspect is capable of, what his intentions are or what his next move is going to be. You have to do what you can to protect the people in the surrounding area.”
Once the perimeter of the residence was almost secure, Ford told dispatchers he was going to exit his home and surrender to deputies. At 5:38 p.m., the suspect emerged from his residence naked — not at the request of deputies — and was taken into custody immediately. According to Carpinteria Station Lt. Butch Arnoldi, Ford appeared to have symptoms of alcohol intoxication when he emerged from the residence.
“He was extremely intoxicated, in fact when he was ordered out of the house, he fell down face forward and scraped his face across the driveway pretty badly,” Arnoldi said. “When he fell there were no deputies within 25 feet of him, so it’s not even questionable as to whether the injury may have been caused if he had been pushed to the ground.”
When deputies entered the residence, they located a deceased female lying on a bed in one of the bedrooms with an apparent gunshot wound. Deputies also discovered a 6-inch stainless-steel .357-magnum handgun in the living room. Arnoldi said authorities have identified the woman, however her name will not be released until the next of kin is notified.
“Basically it was a domestic dispute and the gentleman was angered because the lady wanted to terminate the relationship, so he decided to shoot her and threatened to shoot himself as well,” he said.
There is one other male subject who resides at the Elm Street location, but he was not present at the time of the shooting, Arnoldi said.
“There was one witness to the incident who was at the skatepark and heard the gunshot, but he didn’t come forward until later on,” he said.
According to the Sheriff’s Dept. records, Ford has no previous criminal history. He has been cooperative since his arrest and was booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail on one count of murder, with no chance of bail.