On Wednesday, a sheriff’s deputy was shot by a man who suddenly started outside a police station in Paso Robles, California, authorities said.
“We feel that this was an ambush that he planned, he intended for officers to come out of the police department and to assault them.”, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson said.
The suspect was identified as a 26-year-old Mason James Lira by the Sheriff’s Department in a news release on Wednesday night. He is an armed and dangerous man who is reportedly from the Monterey area.
Paso Robles Police, California Highway Patrol, and San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s deputies are on a continued manhunt for the wanted suspect in connection with a deputy shot in Downtown Paso Robles early this morning.
Parkinson has told the reporters that Lira allegedly started firing at police cars around 3 a.m. as they had entered the downtown area and at the station.
A sheriff’s deputy who had arrived to the station to provide assistance to the police officers was shot in the head. The deputy was in a critical condition but his condition improved, he is stable as of Wednesday afternoon.
Just a few hours after the shooting, police authorities found the body of a 58-year-old man near an Amtrak station in the city. The man had been shot in the head from close proximity and investigators believe the incidents are related.
The Sheriff’s Office had also issued a second warning to the residents to remain in their homes and avoid the downtown area, around 9 a.m.
An automated emergency phone call said, “This is the Sheriff’s office. Please continue to shelter in place. If you must leave your residence. Please do not come back until the shelter in place has been lifted.”
Roads around downtown remain closed and barricaded. The 59-year-old man was shot at the back of his head. His death is now believed to be related to the deputy’s shooting, authorities said.