Man shoots deputy in Templeton in suspected suicide by cop

September 25, 2020


Christopher Straub

A North County man and convicted felon, who was believed to have been suicidal, ambushed San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s deputies in Templeton Thursday morning, shooting one deputy in the leg, prior to being killed by law enforcement officers.

Chris Straub, 38, had broken up with his girlfriend within the past day and was also experiencing car trouble, acquaintances of his told CalCoastNews. Acquaintances suspect Straub’s death was a suicide by cop.

SLO County Sheriff Ian Parkinson said at a press conference following the gun battle that the suspect was a member of white supremacist gang. Straub, of Templeton, also had an outstanding warrant and an extensive history of weapons charges, according to the sheriff’s office.

“He knew he was potentially going to prison and did not want to and had made statements that he intended to shoot it out with the police,” Parkinson said at a news conference Friday morning.

At approximately 10:20 a.m. Thursday, deputies noticed Straub’s car in the 3400 block of Theatre Drive. The deputy attempted to detain Straub, who fled by foot.

One deputy gave chase, and a second joined in the search. Straub ran through a nearby vineyard to Templeton Cemetery, hid and then ambushed the deputies.

Straub fired multiple rounds from a handgun, striking Deputy Richard “Ted” Lehnhoff once in the leg. The deputies returned fire.

Deputy Richard “Ted” Lehnhoff

Again, Straub fled, this time attempting to return to his vehicle through the vineyard. But, more deputies arrived at the scene and intercepted Straub before he could reenter his vehicle.

Shrub was still armed with a handgun, and a gun battle ensued. Deputies shot Straub, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

A CHP helicopter airlifted Lehnhoff to a local hospital. The wounded deputy is in stable condition.

Following the gun battle, deputies seized several firearms from Straub’s vehicle, at least three of which were loaded, Parkinson said during a press conference Friday morning. Straub was apparently trying to get to at least one rifle at the tine he was shot and killed.

Additionally, investigators seized firearms from Straub’s Templeton home. It is suspected Straub manufactured some or parts of the firearms found at his residence.

The Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit is conducting an investigation into the incident with help from the CHP’s Multi-Disciplinary Accident Investigation Team. The Sheriff’s Gang Task Force had been conducting a criminal investigation into Shrub’s activities prior to the shooting.

No additional suspects were involved in the incident.

Weapons recovered from Straub’s car

Weapons recovered from Straub’s home

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It is illegal for convicted felons to even own a weapon, let alone be up to his shaved head in such a business. Parkinson also admitted that they had already been “under investigation”. This, after insisting publicly that there was “no racism in SLO county”! Sounded a bit chagrined when he had to admit to the truth. I, for one, do not appreciate being lied to about something as serious as this.

So, the media here intends to spin this story as a poor, distraught white guy, rather than the tip of a scumbag ice berg he was. Why are some people so intent on portraying these armed thugs, who are throwing their weight around at demonstrations around the country, as heroes, when they are more often the ones perpetrating the violence and even killing LEOs ? Don’t take my word, research this with the FBI. It is not as if they are distributing the guns for suicide purposes. It is about killing people.

Know the truth, because now you know they are here. One can only hope that this little incident leads to cleaning out the whole nest of methed up vipers and their wanna be associates. Or however many there are in the area.

I am not amused that there are heavily armed people like this in our county who have it in for our law enforcement and our non-white population and spreading illegal arms for their cause. That is sickening news, although, to be honest, not surprising. Just keep giving them permission to hate “the left” or any other non-Fascists, and the number of incidents like this will multiply. But I guess if one does not actually wear a uniform or is not of color, why care?

I am very glad to hear that the officers who had the courage to challenge this dude all survived and that the injured officer is stable. They need to watch their backs, as this could lead to serious pay-back attempts The FBI has officially listed groups like this, for the last 10 years, as more of a threat to our national security than Al Qaeda. Wake Up SLO County. They’re here.

I will be shocked if this comment isn’t taken down………

I don’t think Parkinson claimed there wasn’t a single racist in SLO county, he claimed there wasn’t a racism problem. Do we have a gang problem, no…do we have gangs, yes. Obviously, someone with a family member that was killed by gang violence would argue it is a problem. However, it not an endemic problem in the county…neither is racism or bigotry. SLO county is rather tolerant…any race, gender, etc appears to feel safe walking the streets of any SLO county town at any time. I’m also not quite sure who you think is giving these extremist morons “permission” to hate “the left” or other “non-fascists.” These are far-right extremists, they are not classic conservatives, they are nut jobs…they are no different than “far-left” Antifa anarchists, which do not represent classic democrats, or even progressive democrats. Your FBI claim is based on Wray’s statements to congress…during which he provided no numbers. He also did not claim it as the largest threat to our national security, he stated this,

“Within the domestic terrorism bucket, the category as a whole, racially motivated violent extremism is, I think, the biggest bucket within that larger group. And within the racially motivated violent extremist bucket, people subscribing to some kind of white supremacist-type ideology is certainly the biggest chunk of that,”

The releases FBI bulletin also does not support your claim, it states this,

“Based upon current information, we assess the greatest threat of lethal violence continues to emanate from lone offenders with racially or ethnically motivated violent extremist ideologies and [domestic violent extremists] with personalized ideologies,”

The reason this career criminal was loose was not a result of social injustice, but as a result of political injustice in our state…Prison reform AB 109, Prop 47, and Prop 57. Everyone will complain about how bad this guy was and how horrible it is that he was in our society….all while voting again and again to reduce prison sentences and “reform” the system! The cops are doing their jobs, it’s the legislators & voters that need to step it up.

Thank you to the deputy sheriffs who went into harm’s way to confront and stop this dangerous man.

I don’t think this was a suicide by cop. This man was actively attempting to retrieve a rifle so he could increase his firepower and engage the deputies. That is what a suspect would do if they want to win the gunfight and escape.

Thank God he didn’t succeed. If he had there is no telling how many innocent people would have been put in danger by this man.

Next time somebody talks about defunding the sheriff’s office remember this event and the one a few weeks ago in Nipomo.