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Benefit BBQ held to raise money for Arroyo Grande Police officer injured during shootout in Paso Robles

Posted at 9:10 PM, Jun 20, 2020

The Central Coast Jerk Pirates Offroad Group came together Saturday, to host a fundraiser for Arroyo Grande Police Sergeant Michael Smiley.

Sergeant Michael Smiley was helping search for 26-year-old Mason James Lira who was considered armed and dangerous after reportedly shooting at the Paso Robles Police Department, killing a man at the Amtrack station and injuring a San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Deputy on Wednesday.

Sponsors of Saturday's event and raffle donations were contributed by: Jerk Pirates Offroad Group, Freedom Ropes, 5150 Dieselz, Offroaders United, and Desert Whips.

Bruce Van Vort, Owner of Fin's Seafood and Pismo Beach Golf Course provided a venue for the event.

"It's never the wrong time to do the right and the right thing is raise money for these police officers who went up to Paso to protect us and they got shot for that. We just want to make sure they know how much we appreciate them," Van Vort said.

Organizers hope this gathering shows community support for local law enforcement.

"We're with them and respect everything they're doing. Our area for the most part, loves the flag and supports police officers and first responders and that's the message we want to get across," said Dan Hensley, a member of the Jerk Pirates Offroad Group.

It's unclear at this time how much the BBQ was able to raise, but organizers said they sold about 450 meals and had to go out and buy more food to feed everyone.