• A gunman was killed during a shootout with officers after a 36-hour manhunt
  • The suspect fired at a police station and shot a sheriff’s deputy in the face
  • Authorities believe Mason James Lira “intended to continue” shooting law enforcement

A 26-year-old man in Central California was killed in a shootout after a 36-hour manhunt that followed a series of attacks on law enforcement.

San Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson the suspect “did want to shoot law enforcement.” Parkinson did clarify that the specific motive for the attacks was under investigation.

Mason James Lira, who was recently released from jail, was killed Thursday (June 11) after he had shot a sheriff’s deputy and wounded three other law enforcement officers in separate attacks throughout San Louis Obispo County.

Lira is also believed to have shot and killed a 58-year-old whose body was found on the tracks of a train station.

Paso Robles Police Chief Ty Lewis said investigators found two stolen handguns on Lira and a box of ammunition. Lira is believed to have stolen the guns a day before the attack on the Paso Robles police station.

Ammunition was found at what authorities believed was the site of a transient camp under a downtown movie theater.

Authorities said they believe Lira may have visited the area and intended to retrieve the ammunition found there for more attacks on police.

“I think he intended to continue,” Parkinson said.

The manhunt for Lira began Wednesday (June 10) when he allegedly opened fire on the Paso Robles police station. Deputy Nicholas Dreyfus and his partner did not see the attacker until they were outside their patrol car and under fire.

Dreyfus was shot in the face but was able to radio that he’d been shot. His partner was able to drag him behind a police car.

Dreyfus was in “guarded condition” after surgery Thursday (June 11).

Lira opened fire from ambush over the course of the search and evaded hundreds of officers, authorities said.

“Every time that law enforcement got near to him, he engaged them in gunfire,” Lewis said.

Lira managed to shoot three other officers, including a police sergeant and a highway patrol officer, during the course of the manhunt. All three are expected to make a full recovery.

Lira’s father, Jose Lira, told the Associated Press that he believes Lira’s shooting might have been a suicide attempt.

Jose claims that Lira had been diagnosed with several mental health disorders, including schizophrenia. He also said his son did not take his prescriptions, has been in an out of prison and treatment facilities and has delusions about being a special agent or a soldier.

“He lives in a fantasy world. He doesn’t have a beef with the police,” Jose said.