California man who ambushed police dead after manhunt ending in shootout

by Peter Heck · Jun 12th, 2020 10:16 am

The man who sparked a massive manhunt after he allegedly shot a California deputy in the head and wounded three others, is dead following a shootout with police.

The sheriff of San Luis Obispo County announced Thursday that 26-year-old Mason Lira, who reportedly has a history of mental illness, had been taken into custody "secured and unresponsive."

The shootout followed an earlier report from a gas station clerk who told authorities that Lira had stopped about 2 a.m. to purchase an energy drink. He said Lira was frazzled and talking to himself, but left without incident.

Lira's dad, Jose Lira, told reporters that his son was prone to delusions where he believed himself to be a soldier under attack. The elder Lira, who claimed to have slept with a loaded gun under his pillow due to his fear of his own son, even suspected that what authorities believe was Lira's ambush on the Paso Robles police station was actually a suicide attempt.

Three officers wounded in the shootout are expected to fully recover.


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