Suspect dead, deputy injured in central Texas shootout

HAYS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) –The Hays County Sheriff’s Office is investigating what it believes was an ambush against some of its deputies, prompting a shootout that left the suspect dead and one officer injured Friday morning in Wimberley.

The shooting happened around 3:48 a.m. at Spoke Hollow Road near Ranch Road 12.  According to the sheriff’s office, Deputy Benjamin Gieselman, 28, was one of several deputies responding to a 911 call about someone breaking into Jean’s Antiques in the 11500 block of RR 12.

The deputies did not find any evidence of a break in at the scene, but were driving up the road behind the shop to investigate when the sheriff’s office says a man hiding behind a rock wall near the road started firing. Three of the four patrol vehicles were shot, and Gieselman was hit in the legs and upper body. He was flown to an Austin area hospital with what the sheriff’s office described as “non-life threatening” injuries.

“You’ve got to understand, these officers are very lucky — their cars got shot pretty good,” Hays County Sheriff Gary Cutler said at a news conference.

The deputies returned fire as the suspect, Rocky Miles West, 26, ran into nearby woods. Deputies found West dead, but at this point, it’s unclear if his wounds were self-inflicted.

Cutler said investigators found a 12-gauge pump shotgun and 9 shotgun rounds at the scene, as well as both birdshot and buckshot. He also said they believe West was the one who made the 911 call in the first place.

According to HCSO, West had an extensive criminal history and the sheriff’s office was very familiar with him. He was arrested most recently in January 2017 on a charge of assault with bodily injury stemming from a domestic incident.

Cutler says the Texas Rangers are conducting a parallel investigation. It and the sheriff’s office are going through the 911 tape, as well as body camera footage. They are interviewing friends and family as well.


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