In Huston, Texas early on Thursday morning, FBI agents raided a home.
This morning three suspects in the kidnapping were in court on charges of taking part in a chaotic plot that police say involved a home invasion, the escape of a child and a ransom demand.
The Houston raid, occurred before 5 a.m and jolted neighbors. Reports say they awoke to bullets flying: “We just heard gunshots. It was like four pop, pop, pops.”
And this is what led the FBI agent to open fire was not clear.
Police said the incident began Wednesday morning when officers responded to a disturbance call at a home in Conroe, a suburb north of Houston, that belonged to a man later identified as Ulises Valladares, 47.
As Valladares’ 12-year-old son was getting ready for school, two men burst into the home and held the pair up at gunpoint. The men demanded money, bound the father and son with duct-tape, and ransacked the home for valuables, police said. They grabbed a PlayStation, an Xbox, a sword, and hat.
Meanwhile, an uncle arrived at the house and got a phone call from a man demanding money in exchange for Valladares’ return, police said.
According to court documents, the man on the phone said in Spanish that he was part of the Mexican drug and crime syndicate known as the Gulf Cartel and that he wanted $20,000 as ransom.
The caller added that they were watching the house and if police became involved in the ransom exchange, Valladares would be killed. Court documents said the boy had overheard the two suspects saying that the father’s brother owed them $8,000.
Nicholas Chase Cunningham, 42, and Jimmy Tony Sanchez, 38, were arrested Wednesday night and were charged with aggravated kidnapping and aggravated robbery.
The reason for the gunfire during the raid was not detailed during Thursday’s news conference with the FBI in Houston. Valladares’ hands had still been bound in duct-tape when agents arrived. He later died at the hospital.
The FBI said the shooting was being investigated by an internal incident review team and results will be shared with the Department of Justice and local police.
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