By Joe Tarica, Lindsey Holden, and Matt Fountain
(San Luis Obispo, Calif.)
Update, 10:45 a.m.:
According to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office, a deceased person found north of the train station in Paso Robles was shot in the head at close range and is being considered the victim of a homicide.
The agency said in a news release that authorities now believe the death of the adult male is related to a shooting early in the morning that wounded a sheriff’s deputy outside the police station.
The Sheriff’s Office said it was sending the statement on behalf of the Paso Robles Police Department, which is investigating the alleged killing.
Investigators were seen by the train tracks north of the station Wednesday morning examining what appeared to be a body lying on a mattress that was covered with a sheet. Officials in blue forensic protective gear were seen examining the body.
Update, 10 a.m.:
San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Tony Cipolla said that a body has been found in downtown Paso Robles, but authorities do not yet know whether the death is related to the shooting outside the police station.
Cipolla said that the body was found in the 800 block of Pine Street, which is at or near the train station. He said that the investigation is being led by the Paso Robles Police Department and the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office.
The Sheriff’s Office is continuing a search for the shooter, who is described as a male in his 20s or 30s, and is still being considered active, Cipolla said.
The Tribune has reached out to Paso Robles police and the District Attorney’s Office for additional information.
Dozens of officers from the CHP, the Sheriff’s Office and the Morro Bay and Paso Robles police departments could be seen on and around the scene at the intersection of 13th and Riverside. 13th Street was blocked by police to Spring Street, and Spring Street was blocked to Ninth Street.
Traffic was being diverted out of the area via the 13th Street Bridge.
Brown tactical vehicles were seen parked in the 1100 block of Riverside Avenue, and CHP helicopters were flying overhead.
Downtown Paso Robles was on lockdown Wednesday morning after a man fired a gun at the police station and shot a San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office deputy.
As of 5:30 a.m., residents in downtown Paso Robles were being asked to shelter in place while authorities searched for the active shooter suspect, who is considered armed and dangerous, Sheriff’s Office spokesman Tony Cipolla said.
The deputy is in serious but stable condition and was airlifted to a trauma center, the Sheriff’s Office said. He was injured when he responded to the shooting at the station.
At about 3:30 to 3:45 a.m., a suspect began shooting at the Paso Robles police station, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Paso Robles police, the Sheriff’s Office and CHP officers responded to the scene and engaged the suspect, Cipolla said.
One deputy was shot while his partner returned fire, Cipolla said. The suspect also fired at multiple vehicles and hit a CHP car.
Cipolla said the suspect fled on foot.
Paso Robles police said on Twitter that the shooting was over by 4 a.m., and the SWAT team responded to the scene.
The department said the SWAT team was conducting a “systematic search.”
“Stay out of the area of downtown Paso Robles,” the department said.
“We have had an active shooter incident in the city of Paso Robles this morning,” Paso Robles Fire Chief Jonathan Stornetta said in a news release. “(The) Paso Robles Police Department and city officials are requesting the public to avoid downtown Paso Robles as law enforcement search for the suspect.”
“If you live or work in the downtown area, you are asked to shelter in place. Investigation is ongoing,” he added.
Officials are asking anyone with information about the shooting to all 911.
This story will be updated.