The agent made the “split-second decision” to discharge his rifle because he feared he was losing control of the weapon and did not want it to be used against his fellow responding officers, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said during a press conference Tuesday.
Ulises Valladares, was shot to death by an FBI agent as law enforcement attempted to rescue him from a Houston home on January 25.
Valladares’ hands was still bound with duct tape when he was fatally struck by the agent’s gunfire as law enforcement attempted to rescue him in the early hours of Thursday
FBI agent fatally shoots kidnapping victim during rescue mission in Texas! Two males and a woman, Jimmy Sanchez, Sophia Heath and Nicholas Cunningham charged in the kidnapping
According to police, the agent was using his M4 rifle in an effort to breach a window in the back of the home off Elbert St. after another agent lost control of his breaching tool,
Kidnap victim: Ulises Valladares, was killed by friendly fire during FBI rescue attempt on Thursday. his hands were bound at the time. Houston PD said he grabbed an agents rifle, forcing the officer to shoot him
The agents decided against using flashlights because they did not want to blind fellow officers attempting to enter from the opposite side of the residence.
When agents gained entry to the home, they immediately requested medical assistance for the victim.
Valladares later succumbed to his injuries and died at the hospital.
A day earlier, a pair of armed men broke into Valladares’ Conroe home duct taped hims and his 12-year-old son in the home, before grabbing some property and taking him hostage.
When they left, the boy managed to free himself and phone authorities, telling them the kidnappers claimed his uncle, Ernesto Valladares, owed them $8,000. Ernesto, the victim’s brother, who was not home at the time has since denied the allegations of a debt owed.
“Neither my brother, nor I or anybody else owed anyone money,” Ernesto Valladares said in a previous interview with KTRK.
Ernesto Valladares is calling for an explanation of the circumstances of his brother’s shooting death at the hands of the FBI tasked with rescuing him
Authorities tracked two male suspects, Nicholas Cunningham and Jimmy Sanchez, to a motel using their cell phone signals. The men directed FBI agents to the Houston home where they located a third female suspect. A pair of children were also present at the home when the officer-involved shooting occurred.
Authorities arrested Cunningham, 42, and Sanchez, 38, along with 35-year-old Sophia Heath on aggravated kidnapping charges. The men are also facing aggravated robbery charges.
The male suspects were denied bail during their initial court appearance last week while Heath was given a $1 million bond.
Chief Acevedo had earlier insisted that the kidnap trio would be held accountable for the death of Valladares should be held accountable for the man’s death.
“The FBI were there trying to save a man,” he said. “It did not end the way they wanted. It did not end the way I wanted. It did not end the way the city wanted.”
The police version of events most likely will be challenged by the family and their attorney, Doug York .
Speaking to KTRK Ernesto Valladares said: “They [FBI] need to give me an explanation, point by point, how it happened and why,” regarding the death of his brother.
Calling for an explanation York posed the question: “How on earth do you barge into a home and you shoot a person that’s reportedly duct taped, that’s the victim?” York said. “So we have a lot of questions.”
York says it’s clear something went wrong on that raid, and the victim’s 12-year-old son one day deserves to know why this happened to his father.