A two-day manhunt for the California man suspected of shooting multiple law enforcement officers and killing a citizen ended Thursday evening with the suspect dead from gunfire, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s office said.
Mason James Lira, 26, shot three law enforcement officers Thursday and one on Wednesday before he was fatally wounded while trying to escape his hiding spot in a riverbed, the sheriff’s news release said.
Lira, who authorities believe killed a 58-year-old man near an Amtrak station on Wednesday, died at the scene, the sheriff said.
The officers are in good condition with non-life threatening injuries.
The manhunt began early Wednesday after Lira began shooting outside a police station in Paso Robles and shot one of the responding deputies in the face.
On Thursday, as he fled from authorities, Lira shot an Arroyo Grande police officer, a California Highway Patrol officer and a member of the Kings County Sheriff’s Office, according to San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s office.
The sheriff’s office said Lira had two handguns.
Attack on police station
Deputy Nicholas Dreyfus, 28, was shot Wednesday when Lira opened fire outside a police station in Paso Robles, according to the sheriff.
Dreyfus was shot in the face Wednesday while searching for the suspect, but the sheriff’s office says his surgery was successful and he’s listed in guarded condition and the prognosis is good.
“We feel that this was an ambush that he planned,” San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson said about the suspect. “He intended for officers to come out of the police department and to assault them.”
Lira allegedly began firing at police cars shortly after 3 a.m. PT (6 a.m. ET) as they entered the downtown area and at the station, Parkinson said. The sheriff noted that Lira was using military-type tactics.
“He was prepared to move and act as though this was a fairly tactical ambush,” Parkinson said.
Dreyfus was shot when he arrived to assist police officers at the station, the sheriff said.
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,” the sheriff’s office said. Paso Robles Police Chief Ty Lewis confirmed in a news conference that Lira is the primary suspect. Lewis said police recovered evidence at the scene that linked the firearms used in the shooting of the sheriff’s deputy early Wednesday.
The motivation for all of the incidents is still under investigation.
CNN’s Madeline Holcombe, Sarah Moon, Stella Chan and Steve Almasy contributed to this report.