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Mariposa deputy released from hospital

Rudy Mirelez, the Mariposa County Sheriff’s deputy shot in the face and torso during a gunfight Oct. 1, was released from the hospital Tuesday, Oct. 20, sheriff’s officials announced.

“(Nineteen) days after being shot in the line of duty, our miracle, Deputy Rudy Mirelez, has been released from the hospital,” officials said. “Rudy will still have a long road ahead with many surgeries as he continues to heal. We can not express how grateful our department is for all the support from the community, other agencies and people throughout the nation.”

Mirelez, a 10-year veteran of the department, was shot by accused shooter Brian Ballasch, 35, of Merced around 6 a.m. Oct. 1 on Highway 49, south of Mariposa.

Ballasch, who allegedly shot at four deputies, has been described as a Marine veteran with post-traumatic-stress disorder. He was arrested on a charge of attempted murder of a peace officer.

All four deputies including Mirelez were placed on paid administrative leave after the shooting, which is standard protocol for the department. Only Mirelez was wounded during the gunfight.

To help Mirelez’s family, the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office will hold a barbecue benefit dinner starting 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, at the Mariposa County Fairgrounds, located at 5007 Fairgrounds Road.

Dinner is $20 a plate for adult, and $10 for children. A silent auction, live music, and dessert will be provided at the event.

Approximately 800 people are expected to attend the dinner. The California Highway Patrol said with a large number of guests, parking will be limited, and traffic along Highway 49 will be constricted.

Guests are asked to carpool if possible, and advise attendees to arrive early for the best parking. Anyone not attending the dinner but driving through the area is asked to reduce their speed and remain alert for potential hazards from constricted traffic. Increased signage will be in the area, along with CHP patrols to assist with any issues.

Bracelets with “Rudy 2233” and “R-Strong” are available at the sheriff’s office, and will be available for purchase at the barbecue.

Donations can be made to a gofundme account available online at www.gofundme.com/rudym, to Rudy Mirelez’s account in person at any West America Bank branch, mailed to the bank’s P.O. box at P.O. Box 157, Mariposa, CA, or mailed to the sheriff’s office at P.O. Box 276, Mariposa, Ca, 95338.

Details: call Megan at (209) 628-9883.

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