The bullet came from a four-story building and hit the deputy in the parking lot in the chest, said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. The deputy wore a bullet-proof vest that saved his life by deflecting the bullet into his shoulder.
The deputy was taken to the hospital.
"As mayor of Lancaster, I can not tell people how sorry I am to live in a city where this happens," he said. "It shakes the core of everything we have."
Parris described the shooter as a sniper and said he was in a state-subsidized facility for people with mental health problems facing the sheriff. A school within reach of the shooter was locked and the students evacuated.
"It's a tough tactical situation," Parris said. "There is no control over who enters or leaves the building, and there are still people inside."
The mayor applauded the sheriff's department for coping with the situation quickly and said it could have been a lot worse. "We can not live in a society where this happens, and I find it incomprehensible that this has happened in our city," he said.
Lancaster has approximately 1
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