Murder suspect killed in Waco identified as Wichita Falls man

WACO, TX (KAUZ) - An alleged murder suspect has died after shooting at officers and leading authorities on a chase early Saturday morning.

The chase ended about 1 a.m. in the parking lot of Parkview Baptist Church on Lake Shore Drive in Waco.

Hill County Chief Deputy R.D. White told our Raycom sister station KXXV the suspect had shot a 59-year-old man in the chest outside a home in Abbott Friday night.

A helicopter flew the man to Scott & White Medical Center Hillcrest in Waco, where he later died. White identified the victim as Dennis Pavlas of West.

White said it all started when Pavlas' mother saw the suspect's vehicle on her property while she fed her chickens. She called Pavlas and had him come find out why the vehicle was there.

When Pavlas arrived and approached the vehicle, White said the suspect shot and killed him. The suspect then drove off.

The suspect drove down to Robinson, White said. Officers spotted his car in the parking lot of Pilot Travel Center near Sun Valley Boulevard after a driver walked into a gas station to report a road rage incident.

"As officers tried to stop the vehicle, the vehicle sped away, failing to yield to the emergency vehicles," White said.

Hewitt officers, McLennan County sheriff's deputies and DPS troopers joined the chase.

The suspect drove from Robinson to Lake Shore Drive in Waco, McNamara said.

As officers and deputies began an attempt to stop the vehicle, McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara said the suspect somehow lost control of his vehicle, went through the grass, and rolled over several times in the parking lot of Parkview Baptist Church on Lake Shore Drive.

The suspect died at the scene. White said the suspect died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Authorities found a revolver at the scene.

At one point during the chase, McNamara said the suspect shot at four police officers. No officers were hurt.

The bullets, however, hit three patrol cars. One bullet cracked the windshield of one of the cars, he said.

McNamara said the suspect is from Wichita Falls. Authorities have yet to confirm his identity.

The incident is under investigation.

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