JONES COUNTY, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – 23-year-old Hector Jesus Rey of Liberal, Kansas, was taken into custody just after 6AM Monday morning outside Hamlin, Texas. Rey is wanted in connection with a homicide investigation back in his hometown. Hamlin Chief of Police Bobby Evans says he is thankful the arrest was made without incident.
“About a quarter till 6, we received information that a wanted subject out of Liberal, Kansas, was possibly in route from Aspermont and headed our direction,” said Evans.
The Liberal Police Department had alerted Hamlin PD after obtaining a search warrant and pinging the subjects phone southbound along Highway 83.
Liberal PD Public Information Officer Lieutenant Daisy Barkley says the subject was fleeing the scene of an arson at which his parents were found deceased.
“We got information from the sister to see if there were any vehicles missing. She did give us a description of the vehicle,” Barkley said.
Further communication from the subject’s sister revealed that any attempts to capture Rey might not go peacefully.
“They had given us warning that this subject has threatened suicide by cop,” said Evans.
Evans spotted a vehicle matching the description north of Hamlin just on the other side of the Stonewall County line.
“It’s about here that I’m parked when I see the white vehicle pass me, and this is when I made a U-turn and got in behind it, and obviously I sped up to try to catch it, but I couldn’t get close enough to see what state the license plate was,” Evans said.
Knowing where his officers were stationed and that a Jones County Sheriff’s deputy was inbound, Evans followed the vehicle and coordinated a plan to initiate a stop once backup was nearby and they were clear of the town.
“The decision was made not to do a traffic stop inside the city of Hamlin…I couldn’t necessarily guarantee where the traffic stop was gonna take place, but I could kinda control where it wasn’t,” said Evans.
The subject was apprehended just a few miles south of Hamlin on U.S. Highway 83. Evans says initial verbal commands were not complied to, but they were able to keep a visual on the subject and keep the situation from escalating.
“He had three guns drawn on him. If we had to we would have shot him, but luckily he complied with our orders and he went peacefully,” Evans said.
Liberal Police have commended the Jones County officers’ handling of the situation.
“I’m glad it didn’t go that other direction we were expecting…they did a really good job apprehending him,” said Barkley.
Rey was taken to the Jones County Jail. The case has been handed over to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. KBI detectives making their way to Jones County Monday evening. It remains to be seen if Rey will be Extradited back to Kansas or stand trial elsewhere.