Fort Hood soldier tries to hurt himself after being caught in overnight manhunt

Posted at 4:49 PM, May 13, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-13 17:54:10-04

There was a manhunt Tuesday night for a Fort Hood soldier who was set for a sentencing hearing in 52nd court Wednesday on a sexual assault of a child charge out of Copperas Cove. Speeds reached speeds of 130 mph and he tried to hurt himself after being caught.

Authorities went to arrest William Lester Shawl III, but they could not find him to take him into custody. A Fort Hood official confirms Staff Sgt. William Shawl III is assigned to 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, at Fort Hood.

Police say Shawl had a sentencing hearing for a sexual assault of a child charge. Law enforcement units in Coryell, Hamilton, Lampasas, and Mills Counties were alerted. The hunt reportedly went through, Coryell, Lampasas, Mills, and finally ended in Hamilton County.

Shawl was spotted by Lometa PD, who attempted to stop him, but he fled into Mills County on Hwy 183. Mills County authorities joined the pursuit. As he approached Hamilton County, the sheriff's office was prepared for him. The chase involved speeds of up to 130 miles per hour.

After entering Hamilton County, Shawl's engine started smoking. He slowed down and patrol units were able to block him in and force him to stop on Highway 84, about 4 miles west of Evant.

After stopping, he sat in his truck a minute, authorities say he then stabbed himself in the neck. EMS initially transported him to the Hamilton hospital, but he was later transferred to Scott & White, where he is being treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Shawl had been arrested by Copperas Cove PD back in 2014 for the sexual assault of a child charge after an outcry from a child under the age of 10. The police investigation included an interview with the child and the suspect, which indicated the child had been assaulted during the summer of 2013 into the summer of 2014.