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Kidnap Suspect Fatally Shot In Solvang After Abducting Vallejo Teen At Gunpoint

SOLVANG ( —  Authorities say they fatally shot a kidnapping suspect who allegedly abducted a Vallejo teen from her home Wednesday.

Pearl Pinson, 15,  has been identified as the abducted teen. She has not been seen since Wednesday.

The suspect, 19-year-old Fernando Castro, reportedly got into a gunbattle with authorities Thursday afternoon.

Officials said Castro fired upon them.

The Santa Barbara Times reported that Castro crashed his vehicle and attempted to make a run for it when he was shot.

A witness said Pinson was abducted by gunpoint Wednesday and was seen bleeding and screaming for help.

Kidnap Suspect Located
(credit: Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara Fire Dept.)

Shortly after 3 p.m. Thursday, California Highway Patrol Officers received a report of a vehicle matching the description of the suspect's car. The 1997 Gold Saturn sedan was traveling southbound on Highway 101, north of Los Alamos, in Santa Barbara County, according to sheriff's officials.

CHP joined in the pursuit.

Officials said the pursuit ended next to a mobile home park in the 100 block of Val Verde, when the suspect crashed into a barricade just after 3:30 p.m. The suspect shot at deputies, one of whom returned fire.

The suspect fled, broke into a nearby mobile home, and barricaded himself inside. A female resident was able to escape the residence unharmed.

Castro then stole a gray Toyota Tundra from the residence and attempted to flee. The suspect was confronted by deputies and an exchange of gunfire occurred. Castro was found dead inside the truck, having received multiple gunshot wounds. A handgun was recovered at the scene.

Deputies believe Pinson and Castro were acquainted but not exactly sure how.

End of Shootout
(credit: Santa Barbara County Sheriff's.)

Pinson is described as a female white, about 5 foot 3 inches tall with brown hair (dyed green at the time of her abduction) with green eyes.

Pearl Pinson
(credit: Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Dept)

She has a metal piercing below her lower lip and was last seen wearing a gray sweater, black leggings and carrying a black and turquoise backpack.

If you've seen her, you're asked to call 911 immediately.

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