An armed man was killed in a shootout in Texas Sunday after he hijacked a bus, leading a police chase through several cities that saw him fire out the windows at the officers pursuing him.
Police identified the shooter as Ramon Thomas Villagomez, a 31-year-old who was also wanted for questioning after his girlfriend was found stabbed to death in San Antonio earlier this month. Police finally stopped the bus by placing spike strips across the President George Bush Turnpike in the city of Rowlett, said Gordon Shattles, a spokesperson for Dallas Area Rapid Transit. Villagomez was killed in the shootout that followed.
Two police officers were also injured, but neither was wounded fatally, Shattles said.
“We’re very fortunate in that — talk about a worse-case scenario,” Shattles said.
Police departments from several jurisdictions helped chase the bus, while Villagomez continuously fired at them through the bus windows. It may have helped the police that the Dallas–Ft. Worth area is under a coronavirus lockdown, so there was only one passenger on the bus and fewer bystanders on the streets.
The police investigation is still in its early stages, Shattles said, and the bus driver and passenger are expected to be questioned in detail today. Villagomez’s motive is unknown, and he did not order the bus driver to head toward a specific destination. He just demanded the driver keep the bus moving, Shattles said.
San Antonio police confirmed to KENS5 that Villagomez was also wanted in connection with the killing of his girlfriend, 41-year-old Catherine Menendez, whom police found stabbed to death in her apartment on April 7. Villagomez is also wanted in a case of aggravated assault against a relative in Brazoria County south of Houston.