Man killed at Santa Rosa hotel in drug deal gone wrong

  • The Vagabond Inn in Santa Rosa. (BETH SCHLANKER/ PD FILE, 2014)

The shooting death of a 21-year-old Marin County man at a Santa Rosa hotel was apparently a drug deal that turned violent, detectives said Monday.

It was Santa Rosa’s first homicide of the year, the second in Sonoma County since Friday.

The Santa Rosa victim, whose name wasn’t released pending notification of family, was shot at least twice, Sgt. Dave Linscomb said, and died at the scene, the Vagabond Inn on Cleveland Avenue north of Coddingtown Mall.

The incident involved a drug deal, Linscomb said, although he wasn’t sure whether the victim was selling or buying.

“At this point, we believe it was as probably drug-related, a dope-ripoff type of thing over marijuana,” Linscomb said.

Someone from the hotel called police after shots rang out about 7:40 p.m. Sunday, he said. Witnesses reported hearing multiple shots.

Santa Rosa police, firefighters and paramedics arrived to find the man in one of the first-floor rooms. Attempts to revive him were unsuccessful.

Two potential suspects were seen quickly leaving the scene in a red car, Linscomb said.

Police publicly released only vague descriptions of the men, but shortly thereafter, Sonoma County sheriff’s deputies spotted a similar vehicle speeding south on Highway 101 near Petaluma. They weren’t able to stop it, Linscomb said.

Raj Sharma, the hotel manager, said his staff rented a room to the guest and followed all the appropriate procedures.

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