Oct 27, 2012 10:29 PM by Hope Hanselman, KSBY News

Crime scene now open to public in downtown Paso Robles

San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office says the man who lead a California Highway Patrol officer on a pursuit from Highway 101 Northbound through downtown Paso Robles is still recovering from gunshot wounds.

Sheriff's deputies say the man crashed into a tree on 13th and Spring streets, then ran a block away where he and the officer fired off several rounds.

That was just after 5:00 Saturday morning.

Deputies say that officer was released from the hospital this afternoon.

The vehicle chase ended footsteps from the Great American Antique Mall, where hours later Cindy Holman would open for business.

"When I got to work, I was like am I going to be able to get into the parking lot? Am I going to be able to open the store? And it was police officers everywhere, yellow tape everywhere," Cindy said. "It was, you know, different."

Investigators from the Sheriff's Office and Police Department taped off about three city blocks searching for evidence from the early morning shootings.

"Well there were a number of rounds that were exchanged betwee the suspect and the victim officer and we're concerned as to where all those rounds went," Brian Hascall, Commander with the San Luis Obispo Sheriff's Office, said. "we want to make sure all rounds are accounted for."

The investigation had many businesses closed; but since the Camaro missed the Antique Mall's front door, Cindy could hold business as usual... as usual as possible with a crime scene outside the window.

"I thought it was amazing because we had a car in the front and down trees in the front and yellow tape everywhere," she said.

So, whether it's a trail of car parts, a string of yellow tape, or lanes of traffic, a line was crossed for many.

San Luis Obispo Sheriff's Office is hoping to ease some of those concerns.

"I would not say that this, in any way, impacts the safety of this area," Hascall said. "This is an incident that started at another location and ended up here."

The intersection of 14th and Park Streets may have been the end of the road for one, but officers are encouraging business to keep moving on.

For Cindy, the crime scene points to a shift in the community.

"Even though we try not to think about it, I'm afraid it's a sign of the times," she said.

The Sheriff's Commander says he does believe the CHP officer was wearing a vest at the time, and he was backed up by several other officers.

CHP is teaming up with the Sheriff's Office and Paso Robles Police Department to complete the investigation.



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