A fugitive who police said evaded them for several days was finally taken into custody Thursday.
Authorities said Kenneth William Shults ran from police starting early Sunday morning, nearing the north side of Abilene in the pursuit. According to the Abilene Reporter-News, Clyde and Eula ISD schools went on lockdown on Thursday after Shults was spotted near campus.
As of Thursday, two warrants were out for his arrest. Detective Tommy Pope said there was one for aggravating robbery with $100,000 bond and another for aggravated assault of a public servant with a $50,000 bond.
Pope said the ordeal began in north Abilene when Shults apprehended a person outside a game room, holding them at gunpoint as he took their vehicle.
Shortly thereafter, a deputy spotted the stolen car and followed in pursuit.
The chase was interrupted when Shults pulled into an Allsup’s on North Pine Street. He then jumped out of the stolen truck and hijacked a motorcycle in the parking lot, police said.
The deputy then gave him a narrow route of escape and positioned himself as to obstruct the route. Shults took the opportunity and struck the patrol car, nearly missing the deputy, police said.
Another chase ensued, with police forces eventually losing track of the suspect.
On Tuesday, information on his location was shared with police, and allowed them to positively identify the man as Kenneth Shults, the police said. He was quickly located on the southwest part of Abilene and surveillance was established.
Before police had the chance to move in, they said he was picked up by another vehicle.
Pope said Shults and the driver sped away from police onto highway 351, where the vehicle crashed and both persons escaped into the brush.
Police forces continued the search but called it off at nightfall to be resumed at daybreak, Pope said.
Pope said police had been in contact the person they believed responsible for picking Shults up, and were talking to him on Wednesday.
“He is, of course, afraid at this point,” Pope said. “We haven’t had a chance to interview him, yet.”
On Wednesday, police said they received a call from one of Shults’ family members in the southern region of Shackleford county. She said Shults had broken into her house, pointed a gun at her and taken her car.
Authorities said they later recovered the car but, at that point, had no information on his whereabouts.
Pope said authorities were concerned by Shults’ choice to stay in the area when he had opportunities to escape. He said the suspect had expressed the option of suicide to relatives and others he kept in contact with.
“He feels like since he’s been to prison before, that he will serve a long time when he gets caught. And he doesn’t want to get caught,” Pope said. “At least, that’s what he’s conveying through family members.”
The authorities said they wanted to alert citizens of Abilene of the danger in a press conference on Wednesday.
“We just want to encourage the citizens of Abilene and Taylor county and the surrounding counties to be cautious and alert here because we have someone who is a fugitive that is on the ground, and we believe somewhere in the area,” Pope said. “We feel a responsibility to the public to let them know he’s out there.”
Shults is a convicted felon with a background of methamphetamine abuse. Police said they suspected he was using the drug at the time of the pursuits.
According to the Abilene Reporter-News, Shults was found at the Alamo Motel on South 1st on Thursday and taken into custody.
“We want everyone to take a deep breath,” Pope said.
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