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A man who officers say abducted his ex-girlfriend from a Bulverde store led officers from a half-dozen agencies on a wild chase across Comal and Hays Counties and then up and down Interstate 35. The episode ended on Texas 21 in Neiderwald where he was fatally shot by members of San Marcos-Hays County SWAT.
by BRAD ROLLINS
Two snipers’ bullets ended the the life of a 22-year-old man who abducted his ex-girlfriend early this morning and led officers on a 60-plus-mile, high-speed chase in a stolen police cruiser through Hays County and San Marcos.
“When it came down to it, to save her life, two SWAT members each fired one bullet and hit him in the head” as he sat in his disabled car on Texas 21 shortly after 3 a.m., Hays County Sheriff Gary Cutler said. “The victim was not seriously injured. No officers were injured. No citizens were injured.”
The kidnapped woman, who authorities say was 19 years old, had a gash on one of her legs but otherwise was not physically hurt. Police have not identified the suspect or the victim.
At about 12:45 a.m. Friday, the man allegedly abducted the woman from a retail store in Bulverde where she was working the midnight shift for Black Friday shoppers. Holding the woman at gunpoint and driving a stolen Bulverde Police Department vehicle, the suspect took off on circuitous flight across two counties and into a third, Cutler said.
Hays County deputies joined the pursuit as the man entered the county on Purgatory Road and sped toward San Marcos on Ranch Road 12.
Once on Interstate 35, the suspect began traveling up and down the highway, passing as far south as the outlet malls, before heading northward toward Kyle, San Marcos police chief Howard Williams said. SMPD officers “fell off” when he left the city but then the suspect turned around and re-entered San Marcos.
“At that point, we got re-engaged in the pursuit and he shot at one of the officers,” Williams said. At one point, the suspect reached speeds of more than 100 mph, the chief said.
On the interstate, Hays County Sheriff’s deputies used spike strips to puncture two of the vehicles’ tires but the suspect kept driving on blown-out rubber and then metal wheel rims, turning eastward FM 2001, the sheriff said. The vehicle finally gave out in a ditch across Texas 21 from Neiderwald Sac-n-Pac, just inside the Caldwell County line.
The suspect was killed shortly after 3 a.m. by two San Marcos police officers in the joint Hays County-San Marcos SWAT operation, Cutler said.
“At that point, it went from being a kidnapping-and-chase situation to the subject barricading himself in the vehicle and using the young woman as a hostage, pointing a gun at her and saying he was going to kill her,” Cutler said.
Said Williams, “They shot him because they were not going to let him shoot that girl.”
Because the crime scene stretches across Comal and Hays County and because the pursuit involved officers from multiple jurisdictions — the Hays and Comal sheriff’s offices and the San Marcos, Kyle and Bulverde police departments — the Texas Rangers have been invited to “take a lead” on the investigation, Cutler said.
“We’re just a little over 12 hours deep into this so there’s still a lot of work to do,” Cutler said.
More to come
This is a developing story. The Mercury will update as more information becomes available.