The wanted felon found dead after a “gun battle” with deputies in Templeton Thursday had multiple loaded guns in his car and had previously been booked 28 times at jails throughout California, according to San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson.
Parkinson gave an update Friday morning on the case, identifying the suspect as Christopher Straub.
Parkinson says Straub was a member of a white supremacist gang based out of San Luis Obispo and a criminal investigation involving Struab was already underway.
The incident began Thursday around 10:20 a.m. when Parkinson says a sheriff’s deputy noticed a vehicle belonging to Straub and tried to make contact with him.
Parkinson says Straub ran off into a nearby cemetery where he fired at deputies, hitting one in the lower leg.
Straub then reportedly tried to run back to his car on Theatre Drive and get into the passenger side, but it was locked.
It was at that time Parkinson says the suspect then engaged in a “gun battle” with other responding deputies. Straub was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after.
Parkinson says they determined Straub’s vehicle was on the side of the road because it was disabled and not drivable.
The sheriff adds that multiple guns were discovered in the suspect’s vehicle, three of which “were loaded and chambered and ready to fire.”
Parkinson says they believe Straub was trying to get into the passenger side door to gain access to the weapons.
Following the shooting, a reverse 911 call went out to people in the neighborhood where Straub lives while a search warrant was served on the suspect’s home.
Parkinson says they wanted people in the area to shelter in place for safety reasons as they did not know who else would be at the home at the time the warrant was served.
The sheriff said more guns and ammunition were recovered, along with gun manufacturing equipment and gun parts.
While Parkinson says it is not unusual for someone to own this many weapons, he says it is unusual for a felon to, as they are prohibited from possessing any weapons at all.
Parkinson calls it “troubling” that weapons and ammunition were contained to Straub’s vehicle, saying it “show his (Straub’s) mindset.”
Straub’s criminal history was described as “significant,” adding he had been booked into county jails throughout the state 28 times, six of them in San Luis Obispo County. He had also served two prison terms.
The Sheriff's Office Major Crimes Unit is being assisted by the California Highway Patrol's Multi-Disciplinary Accident Investigation Team in the investigation.
The deputy shot has been identified and is recovering in the hospital.