2015-10-01 / Front Page

Deputy shot in traffic stop expected to survive

Deputy critical, but expected to survive

Following this morning's deputy-involved shooting on Highway 49 South, just south of Chase's Foothill Petroleum, the Mariposa County Sheriff's Deputy, who has not yet been officially identified, is in critical condition, but is expected to survive the two gun shot wounds he sustained, according to a high-ranking law enforcement official at the crime scene.

Around 6 a.m. this morning, the deputy attempted to make a traffic stop of a vehicle for erratic driving.

According to the Mariposa County Sheriff's Office, the suspect, Brian Ballasch of the Merced area, crashed his vehicle into assisting sheriff's units, he then exited his vehicle, shown in the attached crime scene photograph, and had a short verbal exchange before he opened fire on the deputies with was is reportedly a .45 calibre hand gun.

The injured deputy was stuck once in the face and once in the torso. The suspect was reportedly struck by deputies returning fire, but the extent of his injury is unknown at this time.

Reportedly three deputies were involved in the incident.

The California Highway Patrol has been asked to assist in the criminal investigation. The special CHP shooting incident investigation team is on scene, as well as the CHP Major Accident Investigation Team (MAIT).

Highway 49 South is closed to all southbound traffic at Ben Hur Road and will be for an undetermined length of time. Traffic bound for Mariposa on that highway is being rerouted via Silva Road to Triangle Road to Highway 140.

Futher information will be forthcoming as details are released.The vehicle of the suspect charged with shooting a Mariposa County Sheriff's Deputy is surrounded by law enforcement vehicles a the crime scene on Highway 49 South. (Gazette Photo by Dan Tucker)The vehicle of the suspect charged with shooting a Mariposa County Sheriff's Deputy is surrounded by law enforcement vehicles a the crime scene on Highway 49 South. (Gazette Photo by Dan Tucker)

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