Man dies after high-speed chase, police shooting in Bell County

4:10 p.m. update:

A man who led authorities on a chase along Texas 195 in Bell County and exchanged gunfire with officers Thursday appears to have died after ultimately shooting himself in the head.

Officials from the Fort Hood military base called the Williamson County sheriff’s office at 1:11 p.m. to check on the welfare of a man west of Florence, said Sheriff Robert Chody. He said the man had been involved in a civil disturbance with his “significant other” the night before.

Deputies found the man’s car but were not sure if he was in it, so they deployed a drone to see if he was in or near the vehicle, Chody said. At some point, he said, the man saw the officers and drove away, leading at least two deputies on a chase at speeds of up to 110 mph.

The pursuit started in Williamson County, Chody said, and ended up on private land along Texas 195 just north of Mountain Creek Road. He said several law enforcement agencies were involved in the pursuit.

The man got out of the car with a gun and ran, Chody said. He fired at least once, the sheriff said. Chody said he did not know if the man pointed the weapon at deputies.

Officers from the Williamson County sheriff’s office and the Texas Department of Public Safety involved in the pursuit returned fire and appear to have struck him, but it’s unclear who did, officials said. However, DPS said the man, later identified as 39-year-old Alva Joe Gwinn, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, according to a preliminary investigation.

Authorities called paramedics, Chody said, but Gwinn was pronounced dead around 1:55 p.m.

The sheriff said he did not believe there was a connection between Gwinn and the area where he was killed.

Chody also said that officials did not know if Gwinn was driving toward the location of his significant other. He said the deputy who shot at Gwinn was “visibly upset” afterward.

The deputy has been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure in an officer-involved shooting.

Texas Rangers and the Bell County sheriff’s office are investigating the incident.

Chody said he did not know if the man who died was a soldier.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly said a Williamson County deputy shot and killed the suspect. Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody said deputies and DPS troopers fired at the suspect, but noted it was unclear who struck him. According to a preliminary DPS investigation, the suspect ultimately died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, DPS officials said Friday.


A person being chased by Williamson County deputies has been shot dead in Bell County after a car chase, Williamson County sheriff’s officials said.

The shooting happened near Texas 195, sheriff’s officials said. The chase began around 1:25 p.m., and the person was shot about 15 minutes later, not far from the Williamson County line.

Williamson County deputies responded to an emergency call asking to check on the welfare of a possibly suicidal person, officials told the American-Statesman.

A pursuit involving the deputies began, and authorities had reason to believe that the man may have intended to hurt a loved one, officials said.

A chase ensued, and speeds during the pursuit reached 100 mph on Texas 195, officials said.

According to Killeen television station KWKT, at least five different law enforcement agencies responded to the incident.

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