The Travis County Sheriff's Office has identified the suspect in the aggravated kidnapping and capital murder of Ibeth Lopez on Wednesday, February 15, 2017. 26-year-old Charles Werchan of Elgin, Texas shot both Ibeth Lopez and himself in front of TCSO deputies.
According to TCSO, Werchan was taken from the crime scene in critical condition to St David's South Austin Hospital where he was pronounced brain dead just before 3:30 a.m. on February 16.
The Travis County Medical Examiner's Office is investigating the exact cause of Werchan's death and final results are pending. The investigation into the incident is also ongoing.
Werchan is suspected in the fatal shooting near Southeast Metro Park. According to the Bastrop Police Department, officers were dispatched to Sports Clips in response to 'a disturbance in progress'. Upon arrival, officers learned that a male had entered the business, displayed a gun, and demanded one of the female employees that he knew leave with him.
The female employee, Ibeth Lopez, complied and left the business with Werchan.
Werchan and Lopez departed the business and headed westbound on Highway 71.
TCSO officers were in the area to help monitor a protest staged by high school students at Del Valle High School. According to TCSO, students had staged a protest where they would walk out of class and down Highway 71. The highway was shut down in both directions by deputies to keep those students safe.
According to TCSO, Werchan and Lopez came upon the traffic being caused by the student protest while traveling westbound on Highway 71. Werchan decided to pull out of traffic and into the parking lot of a church. Werchan and Lopez began to walk across the field near Burch Road.
A Travis County Sheriff's Deputy drove past Werchan and Lopez walking close to the road and decided to make contact with them. When the deputy attempted to approach Werchan, he pulled a gun and shot the Lopez. The deputy engaged in fire with Werchan who used his own weapon to shoot himself in the head.
This is an ongoing investigation and will be updated with more information as it becomes available.