Gunman who targeted Paso Robles police killed; 3 officers injured

Mason James Lira is believed to have killed a homeless man.

The Paso Robles, California, Police Department said they shot and killed the gunman who has been on the run since early Wednesday after he allegedly targeted a precinct and injured a deputy. He is also believed to be responsible for the murder of a transient man in the area.

Three officers were wounded by the gunman in two separate incidents, police said. Their injuries are all considered non-life threatening.

While searching for the suspect, identified by police as 26-year-old Mason James Lira, an Arroyo Grande police officer, also a member of the San Luis Obispo Regional SWAT Team, was shot by the apparent suspect, according to the city of Arroyo Grande.

Officers reported to the shooting and came under fire from the suspect, who had been hiding in a riverbed. Two more officers were shot in pursuit of Lira, before he was shot himself.

He was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

The suspect was found with multiple guns.

Police believe the guns were stolen during a burglary in San Luis Obispo prior to Wednesday's shooting.

Local law enforcement, the California Highway Patrol and the FBI had been searching for the suspect since they believe he opened fire on law enforcement at about 3 a.m. Wednesday.

Nicholas Dreyfus, a 28-year old deputy with the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office, responded to the early morning shooting and was shot in the face, officials said. His prognosis is good, the sheriff's office said.

Authorities believe Lira was a transient from the Monterey, California, area.

Authorities also believe Lira is connected to a Wednesday morning homicide near the Paso Robles Amtrak Station.

The sheriff's office said the body of a man who was shot in the head at close range was found near the station Wednesday morning.

The victim killed was likely a transient who was camping out near the train tracks, authorities said.