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Sheriff: ‘It could've ended a whole lot worse' after deputies were ambushed by suspect

Burglary suspect dead after deputy-involved shooting, Hays Co. deputy injured

HAYS COUNTYUPDATE at 12:30 p.m.:

Hays County Sheriff Gary Cutler said officials are looking into whether burglary suspect Rocky Miles West made the 911 call that sent four patrol units to his location as an attempt to ambush the responding deputies.

“The individual described on the 911 call -- pretty much described what he was wearing (and) he was behind a rock wall just a few feet off the roadway,” Cutler said in a press conference. “When we got the call of a possible man with a gun at this antique shop, we sent additional officers.”

Cutler said preliminary information indicates West, 26, started firing at deputies with a 12-gauge pump shotgun once they arrived at Jean’s Antique shop, spraying their vehicles and injuring three-year veteran Benjamin Gieselman during the shooting.

Cutler said despite the 911 call coming in as a potential burglary at the Wimberley antique shop, no visible damage was done to the store, indicating West may have lured in deputies for an ambush-style attack.

“No damage was done to the store at all, (and) at this point in time, it could’ve been a definite ambush, but this (investigation) is still ongoing,” Cutler said.

Cutler said Gieselman, 28, was shot by numerous pellets from the suspect’s shotgun, but is in fair condition after being treated at an Austin-area hospital.

According to Cutler, HCSO deputies were able to trace the 911 call to the same area where they have had countless encounters with West in the past, with the most recent coming just last month in October.

“They did an excellent job. They planned on how they wanted to deal with this and they all went up the road to the house where this person of interest lived, and I commend the officers on the job they did,” Cutler said.

“These officers are very lucky (with) their cars shot up pretty good -- it could’ve ended a whole lot worse.”

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UPDATE at 9:35 a.m.:

A Hays County sheriff’s deputy is hospitalized and a suspect is dead after HCSO deputies responded to a 911 call about a man with a gun possibly breaking into a Wimberley antique store.

HCSO said in a press release Friday morning that deputies received the call around 3:47 a.m. and arrived shortly after at Jean’s Antique store on the 11500 block of Ranch Road 12 in Wimberley, where someone began shooting at them.

The shots struck their patrol vehicles and wounded one deputy.

HCSO said the suspect, identified as 26-year-old Rocky Miles West, retreated into a nearby wooded area when several deputies returned fire after initially trying to locate the alleged burglar.

West was later found dead after a brief search in the wooded area, HCSO said in the press release.

HCSO said it is unclear whether West’s wounds were self-inflicted or if his injuries were the result of the shots fired by the deputies.

The injured HCSO deputy is identified as 28-year-old Benjamin Gieselman, a three-year veteran with the Sheriff’s Office.

HCSO said Gieselman suffered non-life-threatening to his legs and upper body, and was flown to an Austin-area hospital where he is being treated for his injuries.

According to HCSO in the press release, West had an extensive criminal history with his last arrest coming less than a year ago in January of 2017 for a family violence charge of assault with bodily injury.

HCSO said its criminal investigations division, along with the Department of Public Safety Texas Rangers Office, is conducting the investigation.

No injuries were reported to the other deputies, HCSO said in the press release.

ORIGINAL STORY: An investigation is underway near Wimberley, Texas, after the Hay County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to KSAT that one of its deputies was involved in a shooting early Friday morning.

HCSO spokesperson Lt. Dennis Gutierrez confirmed the deputy-involved shooting and said the incident happened near Spoke Hollow Road, less than 5 miles southeast of Wimberley.

Due to the ongoing investigation, Gutierrez could not confirm to KSAT whether the deputy-involved shooting was fatal or not.

Gutierrez said there will be a press conference Friday around 10 a.m. with more details.

Stick with KSAT-12 on-air and online for the latest developments. 

EMAILagarcia@ksat.com


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