California Deputy Is Shot in Late-Night 'Ambush'

Manhunt is on for the suspect
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 11, 2020 5:07 PM CDT
Manhunt Is On After Deputy Shot in 'Ambush'
This image taken from a surveillance camera and provided by the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office shows the man suspected of shooting a deputy.   (San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office via AP)

A manhunt is underway for a gunman who shot a California deputy in the head during what authorities are calling an "ambush." The shooting took place outside the police station in Paso Robles after 3am Wednesday, reports CNN. A gunman began firing at police cars, then hit a deputy who turned up to assist officers, authorities say. The 28-year-old deputy, Nicholas Dreyfus, was in stable condition with a good prognosis after being shot in the back of the head, per the AP. "We feel that this was an ambush that he planned," says San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson. "He intended for officers to come out of the police department and to assault them."

Authorities have identified the suspect as 26-year-old Mason James Lira, who was spotted at a gas station near Templeton, per the Tribune. They have not speculated about a motive. Lira, described as a transient, was arrested previously for making terrorist threats. Hours after the deputy was shot, police discovered the body of a 58-year-old man near a train station in Paso Robles. He appeared to be a transient, and police think the two shootings are related. (More manhunt stories.)

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