Four people — two suspects and two UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) students — have been hospitalized after a domestic disturbance and shooting incident was reported in the Isla Vista neighborhood near UCSB last Monday.
The suspects, Jose Guadalupe Gutierrez, 19, and James Joshua Taylor, 22, were implicated in connection with the incidents. According to reports, Taylor and Gutierrez unloaded a gun in the residence of two UCSB students. After the gunshots, the students pinned down Taylor while Gutierrez fled the scene of the crime.
Taylor sustained head injuries from the physical altercation, while Gutierrez reported injuries from a vehicle accident after the incident. Both suspects are currently in police custody, and will remain in the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital until they recover from their injuries.
The student victims sustained gunshot wounds, possibly from the stolen handgun found on the scene. Both are expected to make a full recovery.
Taylor and Gutierrez are being charged with discharge of a firearm in the commission of a felony causing great bodily injury, attempted murder, robbery and participation in a criminal street gang. Gutierrez will also be charged with possession of a stolen firearm. The suspects may see more than 15 years in prison if convicted of all charges.
The incident occurred less than a year after Elliot Rodger killed six UCSB students and injured 14 others in a shooting spree in the same area before turning the gun on himself. Since that incident, UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang has stated that the campus has increased UCPD presence in the Isla Vista neighborhood.
In response to the recent shooting, UCR students have questioned the effectiveness of UCR’s own security given the recent crimes that have occurred around campus. “What really bothers me is the fact that UCPD on campus has done the bare minimum in preventing crimes. I remember a month ago there was a helicopter out here late at night because someone had a gun, but they never found the guy. It really makes me question their priorities,” Pranav Pattabiraman, a third-year economics major, stated.
Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Jim Sandoval has created a committee with ASUCR to focus on improving campus safety. Kris Moisa, a third-year political science major, however, remains skeptical of what the committee will accomplish.
“That’s the answer for everything with this school, but I want results. The fact is recently crimes have been occurring very often … and from each of those emails, virtually none of the suspects get caught,” Moisa stated.
In addition, Moisa critiqued the effectiveness of announcements which give students tips on how to prevent getting robbed on campus. “I dislike the use of victim-blaming they use on the announcements outside of student apartments … it’s like they’re blaming students for something they should’ve been preventing,” Moisa elaborated.