It’s been one year since a man opened fire on the Paso Robles police station injuring several officers over the course of a two-day manhunt.
"It was one of the most tragic and stressful events that I think anybody can face in their career,” said Chief Ty Lewis.
On the morning of June 10, 2020, a man started shooting the police station building at the corner of 10th and Park Streets. It led to a 36-hour manhunt for suspect, 26-year-old Mason Lira, a transient with ties to the Monterey and Fresno areas.
San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Deputy, Nicholas Dreyfus was shot in the face while searching for Lira in the downtown area.
The same morning, 58-year-old, James Watson of Paso Robles was found shot to death at the Paso Robles train station and investigators believe Lira was responsible.
On day two of the manhunt, other officers from the California Highway Patrol, Arroyo Grande Police Department, and the Kings County Sheriff’s Office were injured by gunfire as well.
"I think that for us, it serves as a stark reminder of the peril and the danger that being a police officer is, even in a great community like we have in Paso Robles and in San Luis Obispo County but certainly, we're lucky because we do enjoy a super strong relationship with our community,” Chief Lewis said.
Lira ended up being shot and killed by law enforcement officers.
Chief Lewis says while there have been repairs to some of the doors and windows of the police station, there’s still damage to the building where bullets ricocheted off the brick.
"We have made some changes upon that. Some of it is due to our staffing and how many people we staff in our dispatch centers so all of that has changed some of our practices. I think that our officers are much more aware about building security,” Chief Lewis explained. “I think for many of us, we carry certain memories from that time. It was a traumatic event. I mean, it was sustained over a couple of days so there are stark reminders everywhere we go."
All of the officers who were shot survived including Deputy Dreyfus who is still recovering to this day undergoing multiple procedures and surgeries.