A man wanted in connection with two armed robberies earlier in the day in Cameron exchanged gunfire with Bell County sheriff’s deputies and Temple police officers and then shot himself Wednesday evening in a field between Little River and Heidenheimer in Bell County.
The man, whose name was not immediately released, was airlifted to Scott & White Hospital in Temple, where he was in very critical condition Wednesday night.
The events leading up to the exchange of gunfire started Wednesday morning when the man flashed a gun at a clerk at the Movie Gallery on West 4th Street in Cameron, demanded money and escaped with an undisclosed amount of cash.
He drove off in the clerk’s SUV, which was later recovered from an apartment complex in Cameron.
Then around 3 p.m., the man struck again, this time at the Sunny Food Mart on North Travis.
At 5:30 p.m., Cameron police contacted the Bell County Sheriff’s Office for assistance in tracking down the robber.
A short time later, deputies spotted a man matching the robber’s description leaving a convenience store in Heidenheimer.
When they approached him, authorities said, he challenged them, displayed a gun and then ran.
The deputies gave chase, but the man was able to elude them.
Additional deputies and Temple’s SWAT Team were dispatched to the area to join the manhunt, which continued for more than an hour.
When officers finally caught up with the man, authorities said he turned around and opened fire.
At least one Temple police officer and one sheriff’s deputy returned the gunfire, hitting the wanted man, who then turned his gun on himself.
None of the officers was struck, but one deputy may have suffered a broken wrist in a scuffle with the suspect.
The Texas Rangers and the Bell County District Attorney’s Office are investigating.