MARIPOSA, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Mariposa County Sheriff's Office says a deputy shot on Thursday is showing positive signs of improvement despite his critical injuries.
His name hasn't been released yet but investigators say the deputy was shot by Brian Ballasch a former marine with PTSD.
People who know Brian Ballasch in the small community of Mariposa Pines say he was a good kid. He was gung-ho about serving, but after three tours in Afghanistan, was a changed man with serious mental health issues.
Sheriff Doug Binnewies says the deputy who was shot is a 10-year veteran and a top shelf officer that served with compassion with everyone he came in contact.
"As you start to slow down a little bit, you start to feel it, you start to see it in your department, you see it in your peers, there's stress there, it wears on them," said Sheriff Binnewies.
But there is encouraging news.
Though not speaking, the deputy was able to muster a thumbs up to other deputies in his Modesto hospital room.
Sheriff Binnewies says he's responding well to the treatment and several surgeries he's already had, and will pull through this.
His entire department, already described as one big family, will stand by the deputy's family during the difficult time.
Sherrif Binnewies said, "It's a family's worst nightmare, and we're going to provide them the best support we can to try to minimize the stress they're dealing with"
Some deputies graduated from high school with Ballasch and while that's not surprising in a small town like Mariposa, a deputy seriously injured in the line of duty is. It's something they hope to never have to deal with again.
Ballasch is currently being held at the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Office on $5-million bail. He will be transported back to Mariposa County for his arraignment, which has not yet been set.
Mariposa County deputy showing signs of improvement after being shot
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