UPDATE: Suspect in Knox County officer-involved shooting dies in hospital

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UPDATE: July 20, 2020 9:31 a.m.

According to a statement from Texas Department of Public Safety, Rountree was pronounced dead Saturday, July 18, 2020, at 1:21 p.m.

Rountree was shot by a state trooper and Knox County Sheriff on July 16.

UPDATE: July 17, 2020 2:51 p.m.

The person shot by a tropper and Knox County Sheriff has been identified as Chase Rountree, 33, from Lubbock.

The female passenger also from Lubbock has been identified as Mychele Mendez, 30.

BENJAMIN (KFDX/KJTL) — Texas Rangers are investigating a trooper and sheriff involved shooting in Knox County after pulling over a driver who had reportedly been shooting at other vehicles on U.S. 82 about eight miles west of Benjamin.

One witness believes he saw the suspects after they hijacked a semi-truck.

Benjamin Fire Chief Allen Pryor said what he saw happened just a little further down from the shooting and possibly, moments before.

It was a regular drive down U.S. Highway 82, when Pryor came across a woman, later identified as Mychele Mendez, on the eastbound shoulder.

Pryor said Mendez was sitting on top of a Ford Mustang that looked to be having car troubles. He gave her some gas, then she asked if he’d pull her car into town. Looking back, he said he’s glad he said no.

“‘Cause if not, I would’ve been under the car trying to hook up. and they would’ve took (sic) my truck, and I don’t know what else would’ve happened to me,” Pryor said.

Shortly after denying her request, Pryor said a semi-truck headed west made a u-turn, hit the Mustang and told her to get in.

“I thought he was ramming the truck into the car to kidnap her, and I was trying to get out of there to get help,” Pryor said. “When we come back out we see the sheriff, and they turned around and they followed the truck in pursuit.”

Law enforcement had just recieved reports someone was shooting at vehicles on the roadway.

A Department of Public Safety trooper and the Knox County Sheriff stopped the semi-truck. DPS officials said as the vehicle stopped, the driver, Chase Rountree, exited with a firearm.

They said he refused the commands and pointed weapon at the trooper and sheriff.

Officials said the trooper and sheriff then shot the suspect. The semi was stolen and Pryor met the truck driver.

“The trucker said that he had the Mustang parked in the middle of the highway out there and the trucker was slowing down cause he thought he had problems and he didn’t want hit it,” Pryor said. “He said the gunman or whatever happened, he come out from behind the car shooting at him and he took off and he ran into the other truck.”

The trucker then told Pryor his thoughts about the situation.

“Really, he can’t believe this would happen way out here in the middle of nowhere, Benjamin Texas,” Pryor said.

A not-so-typical Thursday morning this Benjamin man won’t soon forget.

After the incident with law enforcement, Rountree was flown the Lubbock UMC with serious injuries.

Mendez was not injured and is currently at the King County Jail.

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