HAMILTON (June 23, 2014) A man who tried to shoot his ex-wife at a bookstore Friday afternoon outside of Hamilton and then later died in a gunfight with Hamilton County deputies that lasted several minutes was identified Monday as Ernest Wayne Rials, 70, of Hamilton.
Rials was pronounced dead at the scene of the shootout Friday and an autopsy was ordered.
No one else was injured in the incident.
Deputies began looking for Rials after his ex-wife called 911 at around 1:10 p.m. Friday from The Book Trail at 2230 South U.S. 281 just south of Hamilton and reported that he had threatened her and had attempted to shoot her at close range with a pistol, Bewley said.
She told deputies that the weapon malfunctioned and that Rials drove off in a red 2014 Chevrolet pickup truck, Bewley said.
Deputies determined that Rials might be en route to a rural home off Highway 281 with the intention of harming the resident, he said.
Additional units were sent to the home and the first deputy to arrive spotted a red Chevrolet pickup coming out of the driveway.
The driver of the pickup began to chase the deputy, he said.
A second deputy arrived just as the man stopped the truck and got out holding a semi-automatic rifle, Bewley said.
The deputies ordered him to put the rifle down, but instead he raised the weapon toward the officers and he and the deputies exchanged gunfire for about three minutes until the man was struck and fell to the ground, he said.
The resident the man may have intended to harm had been warned and wasn’t home, deputies later learned.
Further details weren’t released Friday evening.
The Department of Public Safety and the Texas Rangers are investigating the shooting.