SCHERTZ, Texas - Authorities have identified the suspect at the center of an hours-long standoff that shut down I-35 in both directions, causing a backup for several miles.
Police said Ruben Ramirez Jr., 46, attempted to rob a Lowe's in New Braunfels before leading authorities on a chase that ended in a standoff.
A press release from the City of New Braunfels said Ramirez handed a Lowe's employee a note demanding cash and, after a brief scuffle with an employee, fled in a tan Taurus.
New Braunfels police said after the call for the robbery, they spotted the car Ramirez fled in on I-35 at Kohlenberg Road and attempted to pull him over near York Creek. The release said Ramirez briefly stopped, then led authorities on a chase.
Police laid out spike strips and flattened one of the Taurus' tires, then did a pit maneuver that caused Ramirez's car to come to a stop against a concrete traffic barrier at Schwab Road.
The release said Ramirez refused to exit the car, prompting officers to fire bean bag rounds fired from a shotgun. The bean bags shattered the windows of the vehicle, but the suspect refused to come out.
Police said after the bean bag rounds were fired, Ramirez claimed he had a gun and that he would shoot at the officers if they didn't back away.
The New Braunfels Police Department then shut down I-35 in both directions and called their SWAT Team and Crisis Negotiations Team to assist in getting Ramirez out of the vehicle.
Ramirez surrendered to police after three hours.
He was taken to the Comal County Jail and charged with aggravated robbery, evading arrest with a vehicle and resisting arrest.
The release said he could face more charges.
Lowe's did not immediately respond to a request for comment early Tuesday morning.
As for the drivers who were stuck in stand-still traffic for three hours, NBPD said it was thankful for their patience and glad the situation was "brought to a peaceful conclusion."
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