PASO ROBLES, Calif. - Several officers have been wounded in Paso Robles after law enforcement confronted the man suspected of shooting a San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's deputy. Police say the shooter is dead.
Officers confronted suspected shooter Mason Lira in the riverbed Thursday afternoon.
Shots were fired in the area of Highway 46 and Ramada Drive around 2:10 p.m. Residents were urged to avoid the area of Ramada Drive and Volpi Ysabel Road while officers continued their search.
According to the Arroyo Grande Police Department, one of their officers, who is part of the regional San Luis Obispo County SWAT team, was shot in the area of Ramada Drive after confronting Lira.
The officer's injury is not considered to be life-threatening. He was evacuated from the scene and transported to a local hospital for treatment. Lira evaded capture after that shootout.
Hours later, Lira was located hiding in the riverbed along the Salinas River and confronted again by law enforcement.
Officers said Lira attempted to flee the riverbed toward Highway 101 when he was shot by police.
Two officers were wounded during that shootout, according to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Department. Lira was hit and incapacitated and was later pronounced dead at the scene.
The two officers who were shot during this confrontation were from the CHP and the Kings County Sheriff's Office, respectively. SLO County Sheriff Ian Parkinson said the CHP officer was shot in their bulletproof vest. The Kings County deputy sheriff got out of his vehicle to help the officer and was shot above the knee.
The Kings County Sheriff's Office identified their injured deputy sheriff as Deputy Blake Bursiaga. Bursiaga has been with the Sheriff's Office for seven years and has served on their SWAT team for about one year.
None of the injuries the three officers sustained were life-threatening. All were immediately transported to local hospitals. Kings County Sheriff's Office said Deputy Bursiaga is in "great spirits" considering the circumstances.
Officers said they located two handguns in Lira's possession. The guns are believed to be stolen from a commercial burglary in the City of San Luis Obispo a few days before the shooting of the Sheriff's deputy on Wednesday.
Officers were searching for Mason James Lira. The 26-year-old was believed to have shot a San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Deputy and is suspected to have killed a transient man near the Paso Robles Amtrak station.
Lira was seen making a purchase at a Paso Robles gas station early Thursday morning.
He had a history of misdemeanor arrests in neighboring counties.
Law enforcement said Lira was considered armed and dangerous.
Shelter in Place
The entire city of Templeton was advised to shelter-in-place.
Residents in Paso Robles and Atascadero also reported receiving alerts to shelter in their homes.
According to Caltrans, the northbound off-ramp to Highway 101 at Highway 46 West was closed due to the law enforcement activity.
The southbound lanes of Highway 101 were also heavily congested, Caltrans said.
Ramada Drive was closed to all northbound traffic at Main Street due to the search.
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