GARLAND — A man wanted on child sex assault charges apparently fatally shot himself Tuesday night after leading police on a 90-minute, high-speed chase around Dallas County and into neighboring Rockwall County.
Balch Springs police spokesman Lt. Mark Maret said the driver, Noah Michael Timmons, 26, fled as officers went to Timmons' residence to serve a warrant for four aggravated sexual assaults of a child.
According to the probable cause warrant, Timmons allegedly sexually assaulted his ex-girlfriend's six-year-old daughter four times between January and March 2013 at his home in Balch Springs. Timmons is not the girl's biological father.
In a press conference Wednesday morning, Balch Springs Police Chief Ed Morris said at one point, Timmons fired nine times at authorities as he turned around on Northwest Highway. No officers or deputies were hit, though a Dallas County Sheriff's Office patrol car was hit once.
The pursuit ended shortly after 10 p.m. when Timmons, driving a white Dodge extended cab pickup truck hauling a trailer, crashed into a barrier wall near Bass Pro Drive on Interstate 30 in Garland.
Morris said police has spiked Timmons' tires, and when one of those tires blew out, the suspect crashed.
Police said it appeared Timmons shot himself inside the cab of the vehicle. Morris said police did not fire on Timmons' truck at any point, but said the medical examiner would ultimately rule whether the death was a suicide or not.
Police shut down the freeway in both directions after the crash.
Earlier, Timmons had refused to pull over as police from other agencies joined the pursuit at speeds up to 100 mph along LBJ Freeway and Interstate 30.
"The suspect made several trips back-and-forth through Mesquite, Garland, Dallas, before coming eastbound on Highway 30 through Rowlett and then to Rockwall," Lt. Maret said.
Chief Morris said authorities attempted to find someone who knew Timmons to get in contact with him during the chase, but they ultimately never made contact with the suspect. However, Timmons' ex-girlfriend and the mother of the alleged sexual abuse victim told News 8 Wednesday afternoon she was trailing officers following Timmons and she spoke to him on the phone.
The ex-girlfriend (who we will not identify to protect her daughter's identity) said she begged Timmons over the phone to stop and not to kill himself. She said Timmons told her it "was no excuse, but he had been molested all his life, too," and he was sorry for what he did to her daughter.
The ex-girlfriend's mother told News 8 the family had been keeping the little girl away from Timmons since the girl came forward with accusations of abuse earlier this month. The girl's grandmother said Timmons bothered her repeatedly to see the child and threatened her because he suspected the grandmother was keeping him from the child.
A police helicopter reported that the pickup truck bumped a number of squad cars during the chase. "It's also my understanding there were possibly some shots fired," Lt. Maret added. "It does tell you something about his demeanor."
"[Timmons] didn't want to be stopped," Morris said.
No police or civilians were injured in the chase.
Timmons was convicted of aggravated robbery in 2010 and was on probation until 2014.
The young victim's family said Timmons' apparent suicide leaves them with no closure and they feel he took the coward's way out. They wanted him to face justice for the alleged crimes.