One man died Thursday afternoon following an officer-involved shooting near the Bell and Williamson county line along Texas Highway 195 south of Killeen.
The shooting followed a car chase in northern Williamson County and southern Bell County, according to Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody.
It started when Fort Hood officials called the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office for a “welfare check” on a man in the Florence area, according to the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office. Officers were given a vehicle description, and informed that the man was involved in a domestic disturbance call the night before.
Deputies found the man’s car near Florence, and the man then fled in his vehicle from deputies on Highway 195 towards Killeen. Speeds exceeded 110 miles per hour, according to Chody.
The man went down a rural, private road in Bell County, and then took off on foot on a plot of private land. At one point, he fired a gun at deputies, according to the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office.
A deputy fired back at least one shot, Chody said, hitting the man once, fatally. Emergency Medical Services responded and performed CPR, but he was pronounced dead around 1:55 p.m.
Chody said he did not know if the man was a Fort Hood soldier, and didn’t believe he lived on or owned the private property that he turned onto. The sheriff did say that the man’s significant other — a wife or a girlfriend — lived in the Killeen area, and said that he might have been headed in that direction.
The sheriff also didn’t rule out the possibility of a “suicide by cop” situation, or a potential dangerous domestic situation had the man not been stopped by officers.
Before gunfire was exchanged, police lost sight of the man who was evading them. They believed he may have either harmed himself, or was hiding by laying down in high grass. Some sheriff’s department deputies were looking for him through binoculars, while others prepared to launch a drone to aide in the search.
It was then that the man appeared and fired shots at the officers. The officer that struck and killed him is a veteran of the department, Chody said, and was “visibly upset” after the man was pronounced dead.
“He is OK, he didn’t come to work expecting this to happen today,” Chody said.
The drones were purchased with drug seizure money about three months after Chody first took office on Jan. 1.