Hays County, TX – Hays County Sheriff’s deputies were lured into an ambush Friday morning, which left one officer shot and three of their cars shot up.
The incident happened at around 3:48 a.m. when police received a 911 call about an armed man attempting to break into Jean’s Antiques. The caller gave police the suspect’s full description.
Deputies arrived at Spoke Hollow Road near Ranch Road 12.
Rocky West emerged from behind a 3-foot rock wall with a 12-gauge shotgun, just feet away from the arriving deputies, and fired 9 blasts at the four arriving patrol cars, according to the Statesman.
Hays County Deputy Benjamin Gieselman was hit in the legs and upper body, and three of the four patrol cars were hit by the shotgun blasts.
Deputies returned fire as West fled into the woods.
West was later found in the woods, dead of acute lead poisoning.
According to KXAN, it appears that West was firing a mix of buckshot and bird shot shells, and Deputy Gieselman was hit by a round of bird shot. Bird shot is made of extremely small lead pellets and much less lethal than the large balls of lead in buckshot.
Deputy Gieselman's injuries were non-life threatening.
The sheriff said that it appears that the initial 911 call was made by West, in an attempt to lure officers in to be ambushed, according to KXAN.
“At this point in time, it looks like it was him,” Sheriff Gary Cutler said. “We think it was him that made the phone call at this time. There’s no other suspects — I want to ensure the people of Wimberley it’s safe out there, there’s not some person running around that we’re with. We do have the shooter.”
“You’ve got to understand, these officers are very lucky — their cars got shot pretty good,” Sheriff Cutler said. “Very lucky. I mean, the shooter was at such a close distance to those cars with a shotgun and it’s pitch dark up there, it’s not a lighted area, there’s no street lights. There’s no houses that close to it—an isolated area out there, it’s dark. Like I said, he’s behind a—3 foot rock wall—if that,” Cutler told reporters.