A wanted felon was killed after engaging in what San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson described as a “gun battle” with deputies in Templeton Thursday morning.
The shooting, which ended on Theater Drive, left a sheriff’s deputy wounded and the suspect, who has yet to be identified, dead.
Parkinson says the incident began at around 10:20 a.m. when a sheriff’s deputy noticed a vehicle belonging to a wanted felon parked along the side of the road.
The deputy reportedly turned around and noticed the vehicle was unoccupied but shortly after, saw the suspect walking near the Templeton Cemetery on Cemetery Road and initiated a “pedestrian traffic stop.”
Parkinson said it was at that time the suspect fled toward the cemetery.
The deputy was reportedly joined by a second sheriff’s deputy from the Templeton substation.
Parkinson says the suspect ran into the cemetery and hid behind shrubbery before firing at the deputies, striking one of them in the lower leg.
The deputies returned fire, but Parkinson says the suspect was able to run off and went through a nearby intersection before heading back onto Vineyard Drive where their vehicle was located.
Two more deputies reportedly arrived after hearing reports of shots fired.
Parkinson says a “gun battle ensued” and the suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.
There are no outstanding suspects.
A search warrant was being served on the suspect’s home late Thursday afternoon. Parkinson said a criminal investigation involving the suspect was being done prior to the shooting.
“The suspect in this case is a convicted felon and has an outstanding felony warrant. He has an extensive history of multiple weapon charges and is a member of a white supremacist gang,” Parkinson said, adding, “He was known to us, wanted by us, and he is considered armed and dangerous.”
The injured deputy, who has also not yet been identified, was airlifted to a local hospital and was awaiting surgery as of late Thursday afternoon, according to Parkinson, who described the deputy’s condition as stable.
The Sheriff's Office Major Crimes Unit is being assisted by the California Highway Patrol's Multi-Disciplinary Accident Investigation Team in the investigation.
Thursday’s shooting is the third officer-involved shooting in San Luis Obispo County in recent months. In two of the incidents, deputies were injured. All three suspects were killed.