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Man who died from self-inflicted gunshot wound after chase was Fort Hood soldier

Neon lights twinkle above police line tape on Aug. 10, 2016.

GINA FERAZZI/LOS ANGELES TIMES/TNS

By ALEJANDRO MARTINEZ-CABRERA | The Austin American-Statesman (Tribune News Service) | Published: October 16, 2017

Fort Hood officials have confirmed that a man who was killed after a police chase and officer-involved shooting in Bell County Thursday, and who investigators say ultimately died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, was Master Sgt. Alva Joe Gwinn, an 18-year veteran.

Authorities identified Gwinn, 39, on Friday. On Monday, Fort Hood officials confirmed Gwinn was a soldier who entered active-duty military service as a combat engineer and had been stationed in Fort Hood since 2012.

Thursday’s incident started after Williamson County sheriff’s deputies responded to a welfare check call west of Florence. Authorities say Gwinn led them in a police chase that reached Bell County, where Gwinn eventually attempted to flee on foot.

Williamson County deputies and Texas Department of Public Safety troopers involved in the pursuit exchanged gunfire with Gwinn and injured him, but according to a preliminary investigation, Gwinn ultimately died after he shot himself in the head, DPS officials said Friday.

Texas Rangers are conducting the investigation, DPS said.

Gwinn did several tours abroad from 2003 and 2013 in support of operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, Fort Hood officials said. His awards and decorations included include a Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal and four Army Commendation Medals.

Gwinn was also a defendant in a child sex assault case, court records show.

He was indicted in 2016 on a charge that he sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl several years ago in another state, according to the Temple Daily Telegram.

His trial was set to begin Nov. 6.

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