Man killed by deputies described as member of 'white supremacist gang'

Sep 25, 2020

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office alleges the man killed Thursday by deputies in a shootout in Templeton was a member of a “white supremacist gang.”

UPDATE 9/25/20 11:15 A.M.

San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson held a press conference Friday morning and identified the suspect fatally shot by deputies as 38-year-old Christopher Straub of Templeton.

INITIAL STORY

At a press conference late Thursday afternoon, SLO County Sheriff Ian Parkinson said a deputy was shot by the suspect and is recovering in stable condition. An attempted arrest resulted in an exchange of gunfire between the suspect and police in two different locations, according to Parkinson.

“The Sheriff’s Office gang task force was, or is, currently conducting a criminal investigation on the suspect prior to the shooting,” Parkinson said.

While details of the Sheriff's Office account of how the incident unfolded differ slightly between how Parkinson described it and a press release issued by the agency, both say a deputy tried to make contact with “a wanted felon” on Theatre Drive in Templeton and the suspect fled. Another deputy joined the chase, there was a shootout between the suspect and the deputies, one deputy was hit in the leg and the suspect  killed.

The dead man's identity is expected to be released Friday after police notify next of kin.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, “the suspect is a convicted felon with an outstanding felony warrant. He has an extensive history of multiple weapon charges and is a member of a white supremacist gang.”

Meanwhile, the CHP says when a Paso Robles police officer tried to close down southbound US 101 during Thursday morning’s incident, to "keep [drivers] out of the line of fire if more rounds were fired between law enforcement and the suspect," despite the suspect reportedly being down at that point, a semi-truck swerved to avoid stopped cars and jackknifed, adding to already-snarled traffic due to the large amount of law enforcement vehicles in the area. No one was injured in the crash.

It was the third active shooter situation, and officer-involved shooting, in SLO county in recent months.