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Gunman dead after hijacking DART bus, leading authorities on chase from Richardson to Rockwall

Three officers were wounded after a gunman hijacked a DART bus Sunday morning in Richardson, prompting a chase that stretched across several cities in North Texas before he was fatally shot.

The officers’ wounds were not life-threatening, and the driver and the only other person aboard the bus were not injured.

Police in San Antonio had been looking for the gunman, 31-year-old Ramon Thomas Villagomez, in connection with his girlfriend’s fatal stabbing, authorities said.

Dallas Area Rapid Transit officers were alerted about 11 a.m. that the gunman Dallas News boarded the bus on Buckingham Road, between Jupiter and Shiloh roads, in Richardson and started shooting, shattering several windows.

About 11 a.m. Sunday, Villagomez forced the DART driver to lead police on a chase through Garland, into Rowlett, then into Rockwall and back to Rowlett, Rowlett police spokesman Cruz Hernandez said.

Officers used a spike strip to disable the bus and end the chase on the President George Bush Turnpike about noon, officials said.

Villagomez left the bus and was shot as he exchanged gunfire with officers. Garland police said he was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Three officers were shot and transported to the hospital with injuries that weren't expected to be life-threatening.
Three officers were shot and transported to the hospital with injuries that weren't expected to be life-threatening.(Ashley Landis / Staff Photographer)

During the pursuit, he had fired from inside the bus at officers who were shooting back. A DART officer and a Garland officer were shot, and a Rowlett officer was injured when his window was shot out. All three were expected to recover.

Another Rowlett officer’s car window was shot out, but she was not hurt, Hernandez said.

Authorities have not determined why Villagomez, who was armed with a handgun, hijacked the bus, Garland police spokesman Pedro Barineau said.

San Antonio police said that though a murder warrant had not been Press Release Distribution Service In Dallas issued for him, Villagomez was wanted for questioning about the death of 41-year-old Catherine Menendez, whose body was found with multiple stab wounds April 7.

He also faced an arrest warrant on an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charge in Brazoria County after he was accused of assaulting a relative.

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