By Zach Perkins
Port Aransas South Jetty
A man who died following a police pursuit in Port Aransas has been identified as Nicholas Linger of Dripping Springs, according to Port Aransas Det. Amy Jamison.
While being pursued by police, Linger, 33, crashed his car and then was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound, on State Highway 361, according to Port Aransas Police Chief Scott Burroughs.
Jamison said that Linger had no reason to run from police.
“There’s nothing that led us to know why he did what he did,” she said. “He had no warrants. He wasn’t wanted. There was really no reason.”
A bottle of alcohol and marijuana paraphernalia were found inside the car, Jamison said.
Police first encountered Linger on Beach Street near a beach barricade, shortly after 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 23.
He was asleep in his car, Burroughs said. Linger then suddenly drove away while an officer was talking to him, according to Burroughs.
The officer chased the car west down Beach Street, south on Alister Street and then south down the highway, Burroughs said, adding that the car was weaving through traffic during the pursuit.
Just north of Beach Access Road 1A, the car jumped the highway’s center median, crossed the sidewalk on the other side and came to a halt with the car’s front end dipping into a culvert next to the sidewalk.
After viewing camera footage, Jamison said that she believes Linger still was alive when the car came to a stop. As three responding officers approached the car, they noticed Linger’s head move violently before he was seen crouched over in the driver’s seat.
The officers never heard a gun shot, Jamison said. That’s likely because many sirens were going off in the background, she said.
Police said it was too early in the investigation to tell whether the self-inflicted wound was intentional.
Since the gunshot wound was to the head, Jamison said, “There were no signs of this being an accident.”