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Wrongful death lawsuit filed in deadly 2020 Paso Robles active shooter incident

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Posted at 6:02 PM, Jun 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-09 23:29:17-04

An injured San Luis Obispo County sheriff's deputy and the son of a man who was killed during an active shooter incident in Paso Robles in June 2020 have filed a wrongful death lawsuit.

Deputy Nicholas Dreyfus was shot in the face by Mason Lira in June 2020 when he responded to reports of an active shooter outside of the Paso Robles Police Department. Before shooting and injuring Dreyfus, Lira shot and killed James Watson at a nearby train station. These shootings lead to a two-day manhunt by law enforcement, ending in a shootout where Lira was shot and killed by law enforcement.

Investigators say Lira obtained the firearms and ammunition he used in the shootings when breaking into the Law Offices of Robert Bettencourt in San Luis Obispo.

Deputy Dreyfus, his wife Tyler Dreyfus, and Johnny Watson filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Bettencourt.

Dreyfus claims he suffered physical and psychological injuries after being shot in the face by Lira. His wife, Tyler, claims the injury has ultimately caused suffering in their marriage. The son of the man killed claims he suffered wrongful death damages as a result of his father's death.

All three claim the firearms obtained by Lira in Bettencourt's law office were a substantial factor in causing their injuries and damages. They claim Bettencourt could have prevented Lira's actions if he had properly locked up his firearms.

The lawsuit also claims that the officers inside the Paso Robles Police Department were not properly trained for an active shooter situation, causing them to call on outside resources for assistance.

KSBY News has reached out to Bettencourt for comment on this case.