Paso Robles Mayor discusses active shooter situation
–It is a call no mayor ever wants to receive: an active shooter in the community. When I was awakened with that message my heart sank. It sank again when I learned of the sheriff’s deputy wounded in the incident, and then again when I got the report of a homeless man who had been shot to death.
For those who pray, please remember the deputy, his family, and his physicians. Pray also for the man who was camping near the train station and lost his life to a gunshot wound. If you don’t have a tradition of prayer, please take the time to contemplate these events and how we can support the victims and the people who rushed toward danger to protect the community.
The hunt continues for a suspect, 26-year-old Mason James Lira. His picture is being circulated to the public. Please be advised that he is armed and dangerous. Do not approach him. If you do see him or know him, please advise law enforcement immediately (805-549-STOP) or call 911.
The aftermath of the shooting included a day-long shut-down of the downtown at a time when businesses are desperately trying to re-open in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This was frustrating but necessary and a glimpse of the ripple effect of violent acts in our society.
I want to thank our city’s police for their courage in facing this challenge. I also want to thank SLO County Sheriff Ian Parkinson and First District Supervisor John Peschong for their assistance, as well as units from the California Highway Patrol, Atascadero Police, Morro Bay Police, Paso Fire, CalFire and others. We often talk about “everyone being in this together.” When the bullets started flying, these folks showed what that really means.
And these words are more important than ever: Stay informed. Stay involved. Stay strong Paso Robles.