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Paso Robles shooting suspect had criminal history in several California counties

Posted at 6:39 PM, Jun 11, 2020

Mason James Lira, the man who police say was responsible for shooting a San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's deputy in the face and killing a man in Paso Robles on Wednesday, had a history of arrests in multiple counties across the state of California.

Court records show Lira had several run-ins with law enforcement in the past, with arrests in Monterey, Tulare, and Santa Cruz Counties ranging from battery and trespassing, to DUI.

"He's been in custody three times in Monterey County," said Chief Deputy John Thornburg, Monterey County Sheriff's Office.

One of Lira's most recent arrests was on April 8 of this year, by the Marina Police Department in Monterey County.

"He came in on obstruction of a public official, battery, looks like on emergency personnel, disturbing a business, and trespassing," Thornburg said.

Released the next day on a promise to appear with a court date of July 9 of this year, Thornburg says Lira found himself in trouble once again.

"He was arrested again on May 20, 2020, for trespassing, obstructing a peace officer, fighting in public, and threats," Thornburg said.

Thornburg went on to say the two cases were combined and Lira served time and was released just eight days ago on June 3.

The Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office says Lira was also arrested there last year.

Court records out of Tulare County show he has cases ranging from DUI in 2013, to battery on a peace officer in 2015, and most recently, failing to appear on a 2019 charge of remaining on a school campus without consent.

Those court records also show the 26-year-old was sentenced to probation for three years under a mental health program for assault and battery in 2015.

According to Thornburg, Lira’s release last week was not due to COVID-19 or the zero bail rule.

Lira was confirmed dead Thursday afternoon after a nearly 37-hour-long manhunt. It came after multiple shots were reported from the Salinas Riverbed in the area of Ramada Drive and Highway 46 West and three officers were injured. All are reported to be in good condition with non-life-threatening injuries.