x

Dallas's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Dallas, Texas | WFAA.com

Family says man accused of hijacking DART bus wanted police to kill him

A DART bus hijacker killed by police was on a mission for police to shoot him. Ramon Thomas Villagomez' family says drug addiction led him down a destructive path.

The man who was killed by police after he hijacked a DART bus on Sunday was a "very broken human being" who wanted to go out the way he did, his family said Monday. 

Ramon Thomas Villagomez was known to police across Texas.

His family says he had been in and out of prison for years. His life was plagued by drug addiction. 

In a written statement, his family said, "Going out this way was already part of his plan." 

"Multiple attempts were made by our family to rescue him from his addiction to no avail," the family said.

RELATED: DART bus hijacker was suspect in San Antonio murder case, police say

Police say he was wanted for the stabbing death of his girlfriend in San Antonio on April 4 and for assaulting his brother in law in Brazoria County on Saturday.

Brenten Kieth Dietrich was found stabbed multiple times and shot in his yard, according to the Brazoria County Sheriff's office. The man underwent surgery and remains in critical condition at the hospital, officials said. 

Then on Sunday morning, Villagomez showed up in the Dallas area where he used to live.

Police say he highjacked a DART bus with the driver and one rider inside the bus. While officers chased him, Villagomez shot a DART officer in the leg and a Garland officer in the neck. 

Credit: San Antonio police
Various mugshots of Ramon Thomas Villagomez dating from 2005 to 2015. Villagomez was shot and killed Sunday, April 19 after he hijacked a DART bus near Dallas and injured two law enforcemetn officers, officials said.

Police flattened the tires of the bus. When the bus stopped, Villagomez jumped out of a window and shot at officers, police said. 

Officers shot back. Villagomez died at the hospital. 

Police say he fired more than 70 rounds at officers and struck eight cop cars and they found multiple magazines and bullets. 

Villagomez’ family says he wanted police to kill him.  

Here is a full statement from his family:

Yesterday something very tragic happened in our family.

Our relative, Tommy Villagomez, hijacked a bus in Dallas and shot two police officers before being killed.

As soon as his mugshot went live, erroneous comments began pouring in on the article saying this is why we “need a wall” simply because these heinous crimes were committed by a Hispanic male.

What people don’t realize is that he was born here in America. His parents were well-educated professionals who worked tirelessly to give their children a better life.

Unfortunately, Tommy began to use drugs at an early age, like so many others in our nation, and this derailed his future.

He went to prison multiple times for drug abuse, and two nights before his death he confided in a relative that he didn’t want to go back because of the unimaginably horrific trauma he experienced behind bars.

So often our justice system is simply incapable of rehabilitate inmates and often releases them back into the world with even more pain and trauma, causing the cycle of drugs and violence to continue.

We want to make one thing very clear: Nothing justified Tommy’s actions. However, to prevent devastation like this from happening again, as a nation, we must realize this pattern is far too common.

Yesterday morning, we received a call from a family member informing us that Tommy had shot a relative in Houston, whose house he was staying at while detoxing.

He fled after the assault and called a friend saying he had also killed his girlfriend a few weeks ago and claimed he was driving to Dallas to commit suicide by cop.

We were stunned beyond belief. Things like this simply don’t happen in our family.

When we saw the news of the bus hijacking and the suspect being killed by police, we knew it was likely him and worked to get confirmation.

Tommy caused so much destruction in so many people's lives before he died. But the one thing we want to set straight is the false narrative we’re seeing put forth by others. This wasn’t a case of an undocumented Hispanic male bringing violence to our country. This wasn’t a case of unnecessary force being used by Dallas police officers.

Going out this way was already part of his plan.

This was a case of a very broken human being, trapped in a cycle of drug addiction that he couldn’t free himself from, compounded by the trauma he experienced while incarcerated.

Multiple attempts were made by our family to rescue him from his addiction to no avail.

His drug use is what led to him destroying the lives of so many others.

Our only hope is that we can learn how to do better in the future for all those in our human family like him. Dehumanizing him or simply writing him off as a stereotype only allows us to ignore the very real work we have ahead of us when it comes to protecting all lives from this type of unnecessary violence.

Our hearts are truly broken for everyone that he harmed while on this earth.

More on WFAA: