Fort Hood Army MSG Alva ‘Joe’ Gwinn Lead Police on High Speed Car Chase After Wellness Check Initiated; Died of Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound (2017)

Master Sergeant Alva Joe Gwinn

MSG Alva ‘Joe’ Gwinn, US Army

Fort Hood Army Master Sergeant Alva Joe Gwinn, 39, died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound on October 12, 2017 at the Williamson-Bell County line in Texas. Family contacted the Fort Hood chain of command to report that Alva was experiencing a mental health breakdown and may be suicidal. The command asked the Killeen Police Department to do a ‘wellness check’ on MSG Gwinn who was located in his car. MSG Gwinn then lead police on a high speed car chase after they attempted to approach him. MSG Gwinn’s home of record is listed as Richwood, West Virginia. He entered active-duty military service in September 1999 as a combat engineer and was assigned to 20th Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade at Fort Hood since April 2012.

According to reports, Alva fled on foot after the high speed chase with police. He shot at the police at least once and they fired back but in the end he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. In June 2016, Alva Gwinn was arrested, indicted and charged with the aggravated sexual assault of a 12 year old girl in 2012. Alva was scheduled to go to trial for the aggravated sexual assault charge in November 2017. Alva Gwinn had served in the Army for twelve years and was a highly decorated combat veteran known for being a perfectionist. MSG Gwinn deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan a total of five times while he served in the US Army.

Areas of Concern:

  • In October 2017, the Fort Hood chain of command asked the Killeen Police Department to do a ‘wellness check’ on Alva Gwinn; family reported he was suffering what appeared to be a mental health breakdown & may be suicidal
  • The police located Alva in his car but he took off when approached and then lead the police on a high speed car chase that ended with Alva fatally shooting himself
  • How can we prevent a ‘wellness check’ from turning into an officer involved shooting, suicide by cop or suicide? Why the high speed car chase?
  • Alva was facing an aggravated sexual assault trial in November 2017
  • Whether guilty or innocent, this is a tragic end for a man accused of a crime
  • What does the Army do with the accused who are awaiting criminal trial?
  • Is Fort Hood responsible for the mental health of those accused of crimes?

Related Links:
Obituary: Alva “Joe” Gwinn
Death of a Fort Hood Soldier (Ft Hood Press Center)
Fort Hood Fallen Warriors
Killeen man arrested for sexual assault of 12-year-old
Man arrested for aggravated sexual assault of a child
Fort Hood soldier arrested on aggravated sexual assault charge
Fort Hood soldier indicted in sexual assault case
Man who died in Thursday chase identified
Man in Bell County Chase was Fort Hood Soldier
Soldier who died in pursuit a decorated combat engineer
Soldier who led officers on Williamson Co. chase was facing sexual assault trial
Deputy in deadly Bell Co. chase was 12-year veteran, Williamson Co. sheriff’s office says
In the military, trusted officers became alleged assailants in sex crimes
Man who died after 2-county chase was facing child rape trial
Affidavit: Man in officer-involved shooting was charged with aggravated sexual assault of child
Ft. Hood Soldier leads police on high speed chase before killing himself
Authorities: Man shot after police chase in Bell County killed himself
Army master sergeant commits suicide during police shoot out after giving chase
Army MSG was facing charges of sexually assaulting 12 year old girl
Man who died during pursuit had court date for sexual assault of a child
Man who took own life after WilCo pursuit was soldier facing child sex assault charge
One dead after officer-involved shooting in Bell County
Affidavit: Suspect in officer-involved shooting was charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child
Man who died during pursuit had court date for sexual assault of a child
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Hood, Texas (US Army)
73 Fort Hood Soldiers Died Since January 2016: 4 Insider Attacks & 2 Suicides Overseas; 67 Stateside Deaths Including 34 Alleged Suicides & 1 Unsolved Homicide
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members
Washington DC Veteran’s Presentation on the Current Status of the Armed Forces at Fort Hood in Texas (2017)
The Fort Hood Fallen on Facebook

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