The man who was shot by authorities after a police chase Thursday in Bell County, and who appears to have died after he shot himself in the head, was a defendant in a child sex assault case, court records show.
Alva Joe Gwinn, 39, of Fort Hood died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to a preliminary investigation. Gwinn had multiple gunshot wounds, but Department of Public Safety officials declined to say where else on his body he was shot. Gwinn’s autopsy results have not yet been released.
Texas Rangers are conducting the investigation.
Thursday’s incident began when officials from Fort Hood called the Williamson County sheriff’s office at 1:11 p.m. to check on the welfare of a man west of Florence, said Williamson County 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 flew a drone to see if he was in or near the vehicle, Chody said. At some point, the sheriff said, the man saw the officers and drove away, leading at least two deputies on a chase at speeds of up to 110 mph.
Around 1:30 p.m., a DPS trooper joined Williamson County law enforcement in the effort to stop Gwinn.
The pursuit ended on private land along Texas 195 just north of Mountain Creek Road, Chody said.
Gwinn got out of the car with a gun and pointed it at the law enforcement officials, DPS officials said. They shot him, and then he shot himself in the head, DPS officials said.
Gwinn was pronounced dead about 1:55 p.m., Chody said.
The Williamson County deputy who was involved in the shooting was identified Saturday as Jack Danford, a 12-year veteran of the department, the sheriff’s office said. He has been placed on “administrative assignment,” which is standard procedure in officer-involved shootings, officials said.
Gwinn was indicted in 2016 on a charge that he sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl several years ago in another state, according to the Temple Daily Telegram.
“Gwinn, a Fort Hood soldier, was stationed overseas prior to his arrest and returned to Fort Hood in March 2016,” the Telegram reported last year. “At that time, Gwinn was interviewed by investigators.”
“In May, Gwinn reportedly barricaded himself in a Killeen residence and threatened to shoot himself if the investigation wasn’t stopped,” the Telegram said. “However, he eventually surrendered to Killeen Police officers and was taken to Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center at Fort Hood to be evaluated.”
Gwinn was arrested the next month and released in July 2016 after posting bail.
His trial was set to begin Nov. 6.