sniper (search) opened fire Saturday at a rural Southern California recycling center, wounding a worker and a deputy, then fled before being killed hours later in a shootout after deputies spotted him from a helicopter.

The helicopter pilot was wounded in the leg, but all three victims were expected to survive, Orange County sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino said.

The sniper, a middle-aged man wearing green, Army-style fatigues, began firing at employees at the Baker Canyon Green Recycling Center (search) about 11:10 a.m., Amormino said.

One recycling worker was shot in the arm and a responding deputy, identified as Jerry Larson, was shot in the arm and in the shoulder, Amormino said. The shooting victims were taken to a hospital, but their conditions were not immediately available.

The sniper fled the business, and deputies searched for him for hours in the area east of Irvine Lake in eastern Orange County (search).

The gunman was spotted by the helicopter crew around 4 p.m. and shot at the deputies, Amormino said. The wounded pilot was identified as David Tilstra.

The gunman was killed near a trailer park, but it wasn't immediately clear whether he was killed by deputies on the ground or in the air, authorities said. Deputies found a .22-caliber rifle near the body.

Amormino said deputies hadn't determined a motive for the attack.