The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office continues to actively investigate the triple homicide and fatal officer involved shooting that occurred on December 28, 2018. While many details still cannot be released due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, the Sheriff’s Office is releasing some further information.
The investigation into the fatal officer involved shooting has revealed that two deputies fired a total of six less-lethal munitions at the suspect, including two foam baton rounds and four shotgun beanbag rounds. After deployment of the less-lethal munitions, the suspect moved and the rifle was pointed in the direction of the deputies, who perceived a lethal threat. Four deputies then fired a total of 23 .223 rifle rounds at the suspect. The firearm that McNabb was in possession of when he was confronted by deputies, a Browning .243 caliber lever-action rifle, was subsequently found to be unloaded. It appears to have belonged to the suspect’s late father.
An autopsy of suspect David McNabb was conducted yesterday, January 3, 2018. It was determined that McNabb died as a result of multiple gunshots wounds. The examination revealed that McNabb was struck at least twice by less-lethal rounds and that he sustained five gunshot wounds. The final autopsy report is pending toxicology results.
One additional autopsy was conducted today and two more are scheduled next week to determine the cause and manner of death of the three homicide victims: Nicole McNabb, Melanie McNabb and Carlos Echavarria. Preliminary indications are that the victims did not suffer any gunshot injuries, but died as a result of being stabbed and/or severely beaten.
A motive for the murders remains under investigation.