A former custody deputy with a history of domestic violence was identified Saturday as the suspect killed by sheriff’s deputies Friday night at a home in a gated community in an unincorporated town in Santa Barbara County, Calif., authorities said Saturday.

Before he was slain by responding officers, David McNabb, 43, had killed his mother, sister, and a man whose relationship to the family wasn’t immediately clear, FOX affiliate KKFX-CD of San Luis Obispo reported.

The killings at Oakhill Estates shocked what is normally a quiet community, residents said.


“Very quiet, very congenial. Everyone is very nice here,” Edward Crawford told Santa Barbara’s KSBY-TV.

“It makes me want to vomit,” Crawford said about the slayings. “It’s disgusting. We just don’t have things like that happen here.”

“It makes me want to vomit. It’s disgusting. We just don’t have things like that happen here.” 

— Edward Crawford, Oakhill Estates resident

The victims were identified as Nicole McNabb, 34; Melanie McNabb, 64; and Carlos Echavarria, 63, the report said. Authorities said all of the victims had been stabbed and beaten to death by the suspect in a home in Orcutt, about 155 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

The motive for the killings remained under investigation, authorities said.

Previous reports said local authorities became aware of trouble in the house when an unidentified woman called 911 after entering the home, seeing a blood-soaked body in a bathtub, and then fleeing to get help.

The suspect had worked at the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office as a custody deputy from 2001 until March 2012, until he voluntarily resigned from the job, the FOX affiliate reported.

He was arrested by Oxnard police in September 2012 and was convicted of felony domestic violence in May 2014, receiving a jail sentence, the station reported, although further details were not available.

According to the FOX station, the 911 call came in sometime after 8 p.m. Friday. When deputies responded, they determined that the suspect, later identified as McNabb, was armed with a rifle.

Eventually there was a confrontation between McNabb and responding deputies, and McNabb was wounded in the shootout. He was later taken to a hospital and pronounced dead, the FOX station’s report said.

Orcutt is about 100 miles farther up the Pacific coast than Thousand Oaks, the Ventura County community where a different suspect killed 13 people in an unrelated mass shooting Nov. 7 at the Borderline Bar and Grill.