Police: Man who hijacked Texas bus was sought in slaying

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This undated photo provided by the Garland (Texas) Police shows Ramon Thomas Villagomez. Villagomez, who hijacked a Dallas-area bus Sunday, April 19, 2020, before being killed in a shootout had been wanted for questioning in the fatal stabbing of his girlfriend, authorities said. (Garland Police via AP)

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ROWLETT, Texas (AP) — A man who hijacked a Dallas-area bus before being killed in a shootout had been wanted for questioning in the fatal stabbing of his girlfriend, authorities said.

Ramon Thomas Villagomez, 31, got on the Dallas Area Rapid Transit bus with two people aboard in Richardson, just north of Dallas, at around 11 a.m. Sunday and opened fire, shattering windows, DART officials said.

Police said Villagomez then took the driver hostage and fired at DART officers who tried to stop the bus, which had one other passenger aboard. The chase wound its way through several cities and eventually ended when spike strips were used to stop the bus, Garland Police Lt. Pedro Barineau said.

Villagomez continued firing after he got out of the bus and officers returned fire, killing him, police said. A DART officer and a Garland police officer were shot and wounded, but their injuries weren’t considered life-threatening, Barineau said. The bus driver and passenger weren’t injured.

“You could not have asked for a worse situation,” Barineau said Sunday. “Somebody has taken a driver of a bus hostage, is shooting at the police as we are pursuing them, and there are people around all over the roads. We were very fortunate — as of now, we have not received any reports that anyone else was injured.”

Villagomez was wanted for questioning in San Antonio for the death of his girlfriend, and also had an arrest warrant for aggravated assault in Brazoria County, police said. Villagomez’s girlfriend, Catherine Menendez, was found stabbed to death on April 7, the Dallas Morning News reported.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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