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Suspect deceased, two officers shot after chase involving hijacked bus ends in Rowlett

Last updated on April 20, 2020

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Multiple police agencies are currently investigating after a pursuit involving a stolen DART bus that resulted in the closure all lanes of the President George Bush Turnpike in Rowlett.

According to Lt. Pedro Barineau of the Garland Police Department, a call came in for a weapons disturbance around 11am on Sunday morning. The location information received indicated the 2800 block of West Buckingham. According to the report, an armed person aboard a DART bus was holding the bus driver hostage.

DART Officers arrived at the scene and attempted to get the bus to stop. The bus did not stop and the gunman began firing at the officers. A DART officer was stuck by gunfire in the leg.

Ramon Thomas Villagomez, 31

Garland PD arrived on the scene and both agencies attempted to get the bus to stop.

Garland Police confirmed that there were a total of three people aboard the bus, the gunman, bus driver and one additional passenger. It is unknown what the involvement of the other passenger.

During the pursuit, one of the pursuing law enforcement agencies requested assistance from the Rockwall Police Department.

Eventually, spike strips were deployed by a Rockwall officer while the bus was traveling in the eastbound lanes of SH 66 on the east side of the Lake Ray Hubbard shoreline.The bus drove over the spike strip and made a U-turn at SH66 and Willow Bend. The bus eventually came to a stop on PGBT between Liberty Grove and SH 66.

Detectives learned the gunman, 31 year old Ramon Thomas Villagomez, was a wanted suspect in the murder of his girlfriend, Catherine Menendez, in San Antonio and for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon of another relative in Brazoria County.

Police said officers responded to a call in the 14400 block of Hereford in San Antonio on April 7. Menendez was found dead from multiple stab wounds.

According to a press release from Rockwall PD, Rockwall officers did not fire their weapons during the incident and there were no injuries related to gunfire that took place in the city of Rockwall. Rockwall PD did not receive a request for further assistance and Rockwall officers discontinued their involvement in the pursuit as it left the City of Rockwall.

The bus was occupied by the bus driver, the gunman, and a female passenger. Both the bus driver and passenger were not injured.

During the pursuit, shots were continually being fired from the gunman inside the bus toward the officers and officers were returning fire.

According to police, the chase went through multiple cities including Dallas, Garland, Rowlett, Sachse, Richardson and Rockwall.

The bus was in transit at the time of the call.

When Villagomez exited the bus, shots continued to be fired; he was eventually struck by officers.

Villagomez was transported to a hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

The bus driver and the passenger are both safe.

During the pursuit, one of the rounds penetrated the front windshield of a Garland Police car and struck a Garland Officer in the neck.

Both the DART officer and the Garland officer were transported to the hospital and both are reported to have non-life threatening injuries. Three Rowlett squad cars were also hit by the gunfire.

“This is a very active investigation,” Barineau said in a press conference. “It is very complicated. We have multiple jurisdictions involved, multiple agencies within this investigation.”

The FBI was on scene, along with several other local and state agencies.

“This is something that you could not have asked for a worse situation,” Barineau said.

Video submitted to The Rockwall Times by Michael Johnson

This story will be updated as information becomes available.

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