(Reuters) - Police shot and killed a man wanted in a Central California “shooting spree”, and three law enforcement officers were wounded in the shoot-out at vineyard where he was tracked down on Thursday afternoon, sheriffs officials said.
Mason James Lira, 26, whom sheriff’s documents list as a transient, is suspected of shooting and wounding another officer at the Paso Robles Police Department headquarters in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Media reports say that officer was shot in the face, and was airlifted to a hospital, where he was in serious but stable condition.
Police and law enforcement agencies had searched for the shooter, and on Thursday afternoon they received a call that a second officer was shot and wounded in vineyard near Highway 101 in San Luis Obispo County.
Several area law enforcement agencies rushed to the scene and two more officers were shot and wounded. Specific details were unavailable late Thursday night.
The wounded were evacuated and other officers exchanged fire with the suspect, Lira, and he was shot and killed, police said.
San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately disclose the names and condition of the wounded officers.
Police said Lira is also linked to the killing of another man earlier this week, whose body was found near an Amtrak train station in Paso Robles, about 190 miles north of Los Angeles.
Paso Robles, a community of about 32,000 on the picturesque central California coast roughly midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, is best known for its wineries.
Reporting by Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles and Maria Caspani in New York and Rich McKay in Atlanta; Editing by Bernadette Baum & Simon Cameron-Moore