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BREAKING: Three Officers Shot While Taking Down Gunman Who Ambushed Cops

By Sandy Malone and Christopher Berg

Paso Robles, CA – Three officers were shot while hunting a suspect wanted for attempting to assassinate police officers on Wednesday.

Gunfire erupted as authorities searched for the would-be assassin in the area of Highway 46 and Ramada Drive Thursday afternoon, according to Paso Robles Daily News.

Three officers were shot in the gunfight, according to the San Luis Obispo Tribune.

The wounded officers were transported to the hospital for treatment. Their conditions have not been released.

The suspect is reported to be down and unresponsive. His exact condition has not been released. UPDATE: He’s deceased.

Authorities have not officially confirmed that the downed suspect is the gunman they’ve been looking for.

FBI Agents, California Highway Patrol, two police helicopters, and San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Deputies are all on scene, and a call has been put out for locals to shelter in place.

It’s not clear if authorities are searching for additional suspects.

A manhunt started Wednesday after the suspect set up an ambush for officers and then shot a responding San Luis Obispo sheriff’s deputy in the face.

The ambush began at about 3 a.m. on June 10 when a dispatcher noticed a man roaming around outside the police department, KBAK reported.

At about 3:45 a.m., the gunman – later identified as 26-year-old Mason James Lira – began shooting at the front of the Paso Robles police headquarters, NBC News reported.

San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson told reporters at a media briefing on Wednesday that the incident was “an unprovoked attack on local law enforcement,” KBAK reported.

Sheriff Parkinson said the gunman shot at the building and shot at police vehicles parked outside.

The sheriff said gunfire shattered the window of the PD’s evidence room and struck a police vehicle, KBAK reported.

He said the gunman then waited for other law enforcement officers to respond to the scene to help the Paso Robles police, and ambushed them with the intent to harm or kill them.

A San Luis Obispo sheriff’s deputy who responded to the attack was shot, KBAK reported.

“One of my sheriff’s deputies who was responding to the aid of the Paso Robles Police Department was shot in the face by a suspect that was laying in ambush at the police department in downtown,” Sheriff Parkinson said, according to NBC News.

He said the deputy was airlifted to a trauma center.

Sheriff Parkinson did not release the wounded hero’s name, but said the deputy is married and has been with the sheriff’s department for two years.

The sheriff said the bullet is still lodged in the deputy’s head, and his condition was “serious but stable” as of Wednesday afternoon.

Police found another man fatally shot near the Amtrak station downtown shortly after the ambush and believe his murder is related, KBAK reported.

That victim, a 58-year-old homeless man, was shot in the back of the head execution-style. Police have not yet released his name.

There are five crime scenes associated with the ambush and more than 30 officers from multiple agencies are involved in the investigation, KBAK reported.

Police are searching for Lira, a transient from Monterey, whom authorities said should be considered “armed and dangerous.”

He has been spotted and reported several times already but has thus far managed to evade capture, according to the Paso Robles Press.

Police are now in possession of a duffle bag that Lira dropped while fleeing on the train tracks by Ramada Drive headed to Templeton.

All trains were shut down while the area was searched, the Paso Robles Press reported.

The search continued through Wednesday night and into Thursday morning.

Anyone with information is asked to call 911 and not attempt to approach or apprehend Lira on their own.

Written by
Christopher Berg

Editor-in-Chief: Twitter/@SnarkyCop. Christopher left his job as a police officer to manage The Police Tribune to provide context to the public about police incidents. Before becoming a police officer, he worked as a law enforcement dispatcher trainer.

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Written by Christopher Berg


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