A man is under arrest for attempted murder of a Mariposa County Sheriff deputy, who he shot once in the face and in the torso Thursday morning.
The shooting happened around 6 a.m. when officers were in pursuit of a vehicle for erratic driving on Highway 49, just south of Mariposa County.
The sheriff’s office said suspect Brian Ballasch, of the Merced area, crashed his car into the sheriff’s car. He then exited the car and, after briefly talking to deputies, Ballasch started shooting what’s believed to be a .45 caliber pistol.
Ballasch struck one deputy twice and was struck by deputy fire himself. The deputy was flown to a north valley hospital for his injuries.
Ballasch is in custody for attempted murder of an officer and is being treated locally for his injuries.
Highway 49 South is closed between Silva Road and Old Highway South due to law enforcement activity in the area as the investigation is conducted. Motorists are advised to use an alternate route.