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DA finds use of force against Paso Robles active shooter was justified

The 36-hour manhunt took place in June 2020
Paso manhunt.PNG
Posted at 4:46 PM, Aug 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-07 00:54:00-04

A San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office investigation determined the officers who shot and killed an active shooter in Paso Robles last year were justified and they will not face any charges.

The DA’s Office released the findings Friday from its 43-page report on the incident, saying it determined the officers who used deadly force were not in violation of law.

The incident in question began on the morning of June 10, 2020 when a man started shooting at the Paso Robles Police Department on the corner of 10th and Park Streets. It led to a 36-hour manhunt for suspect Mason Lira, 26, a transient with ties to the Monterey and Fresno areas.

A San Luis Obispo County sheriff’s deputy was shot in the face while searching for Lira in the downtown area and shortly after, a man was shot and killed at the Paso Robles train station. Investigators believe Lira was responsible.

On June 11, officers from the California Highway Patrol, Arroyo Grande Police Department and the Kings County Sheriff’s Office were injured during the search for Lira, who was killed during the shootout with authorities.

The DA’s Office says its independent investigation included 113 interviews of law enforcement and civilians who witnessed the incident, the review of 67 body cameras and dash cams, 30 surveillance and aircraft videos and hundreds of photographs.

Further, the DA’s Office says 637 items of evidence were collected, evaluated and tested.

“Based upon a review of the Sheriff’s final investigative report, and pursuant to the controlling legal principles, it is our legal opinion that there is a lack of evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt criminal culpability on the part of the involved officers in any of the four distinct officer involved shooting incidents,” a DA’s Office press release on the investigation stated. “There is reliable evidence that each officers’ actions were reasonable, necessary and justified under the totality of the circumstances when they shot, or shot at, Mason James Lira on June 10 and June 11, 2020.”

To access the full report, click here.