Mariposa County Sheriff's deputy shot by suspect after a chase

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Several deputies stopped a speeding car, then got into a gun battle with the driver, a former United States Marine.

The shooting took place here on Highway 49 near the county fairgrounds. Deputies were chasing a speeding car but the driver, described as a former Marine, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), put up a fight.

Sheriff's department spokesperson Kristie Mitchell said the suspect was Brian Ballasch from the Merced area, also a United States Marine Corps veteran suffering from PTSD. She said he crashed his vehicle into the assisting Sheriff unit, then exited his vehicle and after a short verbal exchange and started shooting at four deputies on the scene.
One of the deputies was shot in the mouth and the upper body. Other deputies shot the suspect Brian Ballasch in the ear and elbow.

The deputy was airlifted to a Modesto hospital in critical condition. The suspect is also hospitalized in stable condition.

The California Highway Patrol is conducting the investigation.

Highway 49 was closed during the investigation but has since reopened. The Mariposa County Sheriff is with the deputy and his wife and children at the hospital in Modesto. His name has not been made public.
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