Waelder man charged with attempted murder


On Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, at approximately 1:00 a.m., Gonzales County deputies attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a vehicle for an equipment violation at the 645-mile marker on Interstate 10. Before deputies could make contact with the driver, the suspect drove off from the traffic stop. A pursuit was initiated by the deputies, and the suspect vehicle exited the interstate onto a county road. The suspect crashed into a tree, but was able to still evade and left the crash scene. During the pursuit, the suspect fired several shots at the deputies’ vehicle. The suspect led law enforcement officers to a residence on South Ave A and South 1st Street in the city of Waelder.

The suspect was observed exiting the vehicle with two handguns and entered the residence. A perimeter was created around the property by law enforcement, and residents were evacuated from the vicinity. The barricaded suspect fired numerous shots directed inside and outside of the residence during the course of the standoff, and was observed with a weapon in hand in the doorway.

Contact was made with Texas Department of Public Safety SWAT and Special Response Team who deployed officers to the scene. At approximately 5:30 a.m., the suspect exited the residence and was taken into custody without further incident. Jose Manuel Ruiz, 40, of Waelder, TX, was arrested and charged with Attempted Capital Murder of a Peace Officer and Evading Arrest or Detention with a Vehicle. Additionally, Ruiz was booked on an outstanding Evading Arrest charge stemming from an earlier incident. He remains in custody on $1,040,000 total bond set by Judge Patrick Davis.

No injuries were received by any law enforcement officers or other civilian personnel. The incident is being investigated by the Gonzales County Sheriff’s Office and Texas Rangers. Agencies who assisted during the incident were Texas DPS Highway Patrol, TX DPS Crisis Negotiation Team, TX DPS SWAT and SRT, Waelder Police Department, Gonzales Police Department, and Hays County Sheriff’s Office.