Man leads police on chase; shoots self in front of San Juan Basilica

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A man who led Mission police on a car chase died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound early Thursday morning.

A minute before midnight, an officer conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle parked in the middle of the roadway of Inspiration Road and South Mile Road, according to Mission Police Department Public Information Officer Art Flores.

When the officer tried to make contact with the driver, he sped off.

That officer began to pursue the vehicle and eventually stopped around the 800 block of E. Frontage which is when they noticed the driver holding a gun to his head while talking on the phone.

Worshipers walk down the steps of the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, in San Juan. (Joel Martinez | [email protected])

The driver then parks in front of the Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle on Frontage.

Knowing the man was suicidal, Mission police and the Texas Department of Public Safety attempt to deescalate the situation, according to Flores.

“He doesn’t comply,” Flores said. “He’s talking to certain people. He’s talking to the negotiator.”

At 2:20 a.m., the 29-year-old man shoots himself.

He was found with one gunshot wound to the head before being provided with medical assistance and transported to McAllen Medical.

The man was then pronounced dead at 6:11 a.m.

Flores stated that the family of the man have already been notified.