Paso Robles gunman threatened bus driver before going on shooting spree

Mason Lira exiting the RTA bus

By KAREN VELIE

Before going on a shooting spree in Paso Robles, Mason Lira threatened to shoot a bus driver in the head while exiting a Regional Transit Authority bus and then burglarizing a San Luis Obispo attorney’s office.

Shortly before 5 p.m. on June 8, Lira threatened the bus driver as he was exiting the bus in San Luis Obispo. Officers then matched video surveillance from the bus to a mugshot of Lira.

While in SLO, between the time Lira left the bus and 6:30 a.m. on June 9, police suspect Lira broke into the office of attorney Robert Bettencourt. Lira allegedly entered the building on the 900 block of Osos Street through an unlocked window in the rear of the structure.

During the burglary, Lira took clothing, jewelry, a duffel bag, a .38 caliber revolver, a 40 caliber semi-automatic handgun and an unknown amount of ammunition.

Investigators from the San Luis Obispo Police Department obtained video surveillance of Lira behind Bettencourt’s office, leading them to suspect Lira committed the burglary.

Mason Lira in the alley behind Robert Bettencourt’s office

Shortly after 3 a.m. on June 10, Lira ambushed the Paso Robles Police Department, firing shots at officers and leading staff to request backup.

Deputy Nicholas Dreyfus and another deputy went to assist in the manhunt. While the two deputies searched the downtown area, Lira shot Dreyfus in the face.

Later in the morning, Lira shot and killed a 59-year-old homeless man near the Paso Robles Amtrak station at 8th and Pine streets.

Following several more gun battles with police, at about 2 p.m. on June 11, Lira shot Arroyo Grande Police Sergeant Michael Smiley in the calf near Ramada Drive and Volpi Ysabel Road in Paso Robles.

As officers closed in on Lira, he shot CHP officer Tim Maxwell in the bullet proof vest. Lira then shot Kings County Sheriff’s Deputy Blake Bursiaga in the knee as the deputy was dragging the injured CHP officer to safety.

At about 4 p.m., Lira tried to flee the riverbed toward Highway 101 and was shot by officers. Responders pronounced Lira dead at the scene.

Officers found Lira in possession of the two loaded handguns believed to have been stolen during the burglary of Bettencourt’s office.

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One Comment about “Paso Robles gunman threatened bus driver before going on shooting spree”

  1. OSI says:

    This was known by SLOPD sometime ago, as Lira was in SLO to join in the protests, why did the PD NOT take action when he was threatening many people besides the bus driver ?

    Why did Bob keep a loaded firearm in a building he does not own and houses the main office for the County’s Public Defenders ? who have felon’s come to the building to met with their Lawyers ? no lawyer should have a loaded firearm in any none owned building that see’s felon’s on a regular basis ?

    Bob no doubt will be sued by not only ALL the victims but should be held accountable by CalBar, DA’s Office and SLOPD dropped the ball on this one. Why were the guns “Unsecured” why was so many boxes of ammo present ? why did this alleged burglary not known for some time as SLOPD was SLO in doing their jobs as they were too busy with the “Protests”

    Why were so many weapons found at the Mission plaza after the Protest and some homie had to take them ? Yesterday two homeless found other items that could be used as weapons in Mission Plaza ? yet no one talks about that.

    Instead of protecting the people, businesses here in SLO the Chief and Mayor are seen walking with the protesters . Dereliction of duty, time has come for the mayor and chief to resign. The lawyers Insurance will have a field day on his claim, ie; how much alleged Jewelry was taken , cash etc. $$ were all the weapons he had been legally registered ?

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