Suspect Tries to Set Himself on Fire During High-Speed Chase - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Suspect Tries to Set Himself on Fire During High-Speed Chase

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BEEVILLE (Kiii News) -

In a disturbing case out of Bee County, authorities say that a man involved in a high-speed chase Saturday was driving a stolen car, and was trying to light himself on fire.

Witnesses captured dramatic video of the scene when the suspect was finally chased down. Unfortunately, officers were put in danger while trying to subdue him, and ended up having to shoot and kill the man, later identified as Jerry De La Garza.

It all started in Beeville when the De La Garza allegedly stabbed his girlfriend and then tied her up. Police say the man set the woman's Cadillac on fire and attempted to burn down her house.

The suspect then took off in the victim's sport utility vehicle, which was spotted by Live Oak Sheriff's deputies later in the day.

Spike strips were used to blow out the tires, but De La Garza kept driving. Making matters worse, investigators say he tried to set himself on fire while driving.

It was about a mile out of Beeville on Highway 59 when authorities boxed him in, causing the man to stop. Deputies broke out the suspect's windows in an attempt to douse the man with flame retardant, but De La Garza tried to run over the officers.

"Our officers attempted to stop a man driving a vehicle," said Ronnie Jones of the Bee County Sheriff's Department. "He refused to stop, rammed one of the Sheriff's Office vehicles, resulting in shots being fired by law enforcement officers, which resulted in the death of the subject."

"Our guys do a great job," Jones said. "We do it by the book. Unfortunately we had to do this today."

The Texas Rangers are investigating the incident.

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