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Manhunt underway for gunman who ambushed California police station and shot a deputy

4 months 2 weeks 3 days ago Thursday, June 11 2020 Jun 11, 2020 June 11, 2020 6:25 AM June 11, 2020 in News
Source: CNN
James Lira Photo: San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, California - A Sheriff's Deputy was shot in the face by a suspect during an unprovoked ambush on area law enforcement Wednesday. The deputy remains in serious but stable condition, and the suspect is still on the run. 

According to CNN, the gunman, who has since been identified as 26-year-old Mason James Lira, opened fire outside a police station in Paso Robles, California.

"We feel that this was an ambush that he planned," San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson said. "He intended for officers to come out of the police department and to assault them."

The Sheriff's Department said Lira is from the Monterey area and is considered armed and dangerous.

Officials conducted a widespread search of the downtown Paso Robles area earlier Wednesday, but Lira was not located.

Lira allegedly began firing at police cars shortly after 3 a.m. (local time) as they entered the downtown area and at the station, Parkinson said.

A sheriff's deputy who arrived to the station to assist police officers was shot in the head, the sheriff said. The deputy was in serious but stable condition on Wednesday afternoon.

Hours after the shooting, police found the body of a 58-year-old man near an Amtrak station in the city. The man had been shot in the head "at close proximity" and investigators believe the incidents are related, the sheriff's office said.

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