It looks like Alvin was just a way station in a two-week long killing spree that ended, April 19, in a police shootout on a crosstown bus in Dallas.
Ramon Thomas Villagomez, 31, was gunned down by Dallas police officers after he hijacked a Dallas Area Rapid Transit bus and took it on a tour of the Metroplex.
Villagomez boarded the bus on Buckingham Road in Richardson at about 11 a.m. Sunday, armed with a pistol. The bus was on a crosstown route, running between the Downtown Garland Station and the Addison Transit Center.
After commandeering the vehicle, Villagomez ordered the driver to take the bus through Garland, Dallas, Rowlett and Rockwall before turning back toward Rowlett.
Although all DART buses are equipped with a panic button, it is unclear if the driver used it to let police know about the hijacking.
Regardless of how they found out, police officers from multiple agencies in multiple jurisdictions — including Dallas Area Rapid Transit and Garland — tried to stop the hijacked bus.
Throughout the low-speed chase, Villagomez fired on the pursuing police cars. He shot through the front windshield of one vehicle, hitting a Garland PD officer in the neck.
A DART officer caught a round in the leg. Both injuries were minor; the officers are expected to make a full recovery.
After the bus went on an aimless, hour-long, 30-mile ramble through Dallas’s northeastern suburbs, police deployed a spike strip — which brought the vehicle to a halt.
The bus stopped near Liberty Grove Road and the President George Bush Turnpike. Villagomez came out with his finger on the trigger.
Police officers opened fire and “incapacitated him,” according to a statement from an officer on the scene. Villagomez was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced deceased.
The bus’ lone a passenger, a Dallas-area woman, and the driver were unharmed during the hijacking and subsequent shootout.
Although the hijacking was the high-profile conclusion of Villagomez’s violent downward spiral, the low-key beginning started weeks before and hundreds of miles away.
Around April 4, Villagomez was in San Antonio with his girlfriend Catherine Menendez, 41. The duo was staying at a duplex Menendez rented in the 14000 block of Hereford, near the intersection of O’Connor Road and Nacogdoches Road, in San Antonio’s northeastern El Chapparal neighborhood.
Villagomez and Menendez had been in an on-again, off-again relationship for a while, according to one of Menendez’s friends. However, the pair had recently gotten back together — despite Villagomez’s temper.
He was “a very violent, aggressive person” and he had almost killed Menendez during a “previous reported family violence assault,” according to a report from the San Antonio PD.
Although no one knows for sure what Villagomez and Menendez were doing in that suburban, one-bedroom where the Indian Blankets and Purple Prairie Clover lined the mailbox, what is known is that Villagomez had a problem.
He was a tweaker. He regularly used and abused methamphetamine and he liked to smoke ‘wet,’ marijuana dipped in Formaldehyde or PCP, according to a statement his sister gave investigators.
She also said he was “paranoid and delusional.” Villagomez told his sister that the DEA was out to get him and that Menendez practiced witchcraft.
Authorities aren’t exactly sure what happened at Menendez’s duplex, but when SAPD officers arrived on April 7 for a welfare check they found Menendez dead.
The officers had been dispatched after Menendez’s friend called the cops because Menendez had been radio silent for a few days.
When police gained entry to Menendez’s home, they saw blood on the floor, according to the police report.
The officers followed the blood trail to the bedroom, where they found Menendez dead and wrapped in a bloody sheet.
She’d been stabbed multiple times, according to the Bexar County Medical Examiner’s office.
Menendez’s friend immediately suspected Villagomez, and told SAPD investigators as much.
Detectives were able to pull surveillance footage that showed Villagomez leaving Menendez’s house around the time of the murder.
They also determined that Villagomez had probably taken Menendez’s Honda Accord when he fled.
However, there were no leads. No one knew where Villagomez had disappeared to — until he surfaced in Alvin on April 18, that is.
It turned out that Villagomez had driven Menendez’s car from San Antonio to his sister’s place in the 6600 block of CR 168.
CR 168 is a rural, tree-lined street about three miles from Alvin ISD’s Walt Disney Elementary. Villagomez showed up at his sister’s stand-alone, manufactured home around April 4 — which is right about the time investigators, believe Menendez had been killed.
Villagomez stayed at his sister’s house for almost three weeks. He kept his head down, his nose clean and didn’t attract any law enforcement attention.
Then at about 6 a.m. on Saturday, April 18, deputies from the Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to Villagomez’s sister’s house.
They found Villagomez’s brother-in-law, 40, shot three times and stabbed numerous times, with a “metal survival-type knife” sticking out of his back, according to court documents.
Villagomez’s brother-in-law survived the attack and was taken to Clear Lake Regional Hospital, where he was listed in critical condition on Monday, April 20, with multiple surgeries scheduled.
Although Villagomez was in the wind after attacking his brother-in-law, Brazoria County Pct. 2, Place 2 Justice of the Peace Richard Davis signed off on an arrest warrant for him
Dated April 18, the warrant told law enforcement agencies across the U.S. that Villagomez was wanted for questioning relating to an aggravated assault case. Judge Davis had also set a $500,000 bond, an amount that was considered appropriate given the circumstances.
Villagomez was a suspect in a murder case and was wanted for a violent assault, according to Brazoria County District Attorney Jeri Yenne.
The problem was no one knew where Villagomez had gone.
Brazoria County Sheriff’s deputies contacted San Antonio PD to advise the Alamo City cops that they were looking for Villagomez and ask them to look in on Menendez.
SAPD officers told the BCSO that Menendez was already dead.
No one is really sure why Villagomez went to Dallas — although a compelling argument could be made that a manhunt in two of Texas’ biggest cities sent Villagomez scrambling for sanctuary in a third.
And unless a diary, or a confessional Facebook post, is found, there probably will never be a way to know why Villagomez ditched Menendez’s car and took the bus.