Shots fired at Valero; man arrested unharmed

Law enforcement officers escort Victor Valdez, 24, from the store after a shootout. - Standard-Radio Post photo/Ken Esten Cooke

A three-hour standoff last night at the Valero gas station/convenience store culminated with an exchange of multiple gunshots, but no injuries to a man who was ultimately taken into custody.

Victor Antonio Valdez, 24, of Fredericksburg, reportedly walked into the Valero Corner Store No. 980 around 7:34 p.m. brandishing a pistol and ordered the two store clerks on duty to leave the store, said Fredericksburg Police Department (FPD) Chief Steve Wetz. There were no customers in the store at the time, he said.

Police officers were called and they responded quickly to the scene, where they barricaded off much of the block surrounding the store at 516 South Adams Street. (Traffic remains limited around the store this morning while officers complete their on-site investigation.)

Off-and-on throughout the next three hours, officers made contact over cell phone and the store’s phone with Valdez, attempting to resolve a peaceful ending to the incident, Wetz said.

Valdez, who is reportedly a former U.S. Marine who served in Iraq and who reportedly suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, would tell police he was going to come out of the store, but then would take action that indicated he did not intend to, the police chief said.

At about 10 p.m., Valdez open fired on officers in front of the store and about 9-10 officers returned fire, Wetz said. No officers were hurt, he added.

After the gunshots died down, officers then negotiated with Valdez another 15 minutes before they were able to go inside the store and take him into custody.

He was treated by Fredericksburg EMS paramedics and was transported under guard to the Hill Country Memorial Hospital, where it was determined that he was uninjured, Wetz said.

Valdez was then taken to Gillespie County Jail and booked on aggravated robbery, although other charges such as attempted murder are expected to come after officers consult with the district attorney, Wetz said.

Prior to last night’s event, Valdez had one other assault charge in 2008 and some prior misdemeanor charges, Wetz said.

Texas Ranger Kevin Wright, based in Kerrville, is expected to arrive on scene this morning to continue the investigation.

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