Hostage Accidentally Shot by FBI Agent During Rescue Operation

Hostage Accidentally Shot by FBI Agent During Rescue Operation
The 7300 block of Elbert Street in Houston, Texas, where an FBI agent accidentally shot a kidnapped man. (Screenshot via Google Maps)
Colin Fredericson

A man who was being held hostage at a house in Houston, Texas, was shot by an FBI agent attempting to rescue him in the early morning hours of Thursday, Jan. 25.

FBI agents raided the house where kidnappers were keeping Ulises Villadares, 47, and an agent accidentally opened fire on him. Villadares died later at the hospital, ABC News reported.
FBI spokeswoman Christina Garza said the agent shot Valladares before 4 a.m. local time. The agency put the agent who shot him on administrative leave while they conduct an internal investigation. Garza said a shooting incident review team is investigating and will provide a report to the Department of Justice and local police, NBC News reports.

“The FBI takes very seriously any shooting incidents involving our agents and as such have an effective, time-tested process for addressing them,” Garza said, according to NBC.

At about 8 a.m. on Wednesday, two men knocked on Villadares’s door in Conroe, Texas, and when he answered, they forced their way in, said Conroe Police Sgt. Jeff Smith, via the Houston Chronicle.

The men tied up Villadares and his 12-year-old son, but only took Villadares with them when they left. The boy broke free and alerted a neighbor, who called the police.

A man who claimed to be with a cartel called the victim’s brother, who lived at the house but was not home when the men broke in, and demanded money in exchange for Villadares’s return. The brother was talking to Conroe Police at the time, which alerted the FBI, and the FBI picked up the investigation from there.

“There are oftentimes claims of a cartel connection just to place a fear factor,” said Sgt. Smith, according to Chronicle.

ABC News reported that the wife of one of the alleged kidnappers was related to Villadares.

FBI agents tracked the phone call to a hotel. They raided a hotel room there and detained two suspects who told them Villadares’s location. Afterwards, FBI agents raided the home where Villadares was being kept.

Besides the two men, one woman was arrested. According to KPRC, the men were charged with aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery, and may face a capital murder charge. The female suspect, who was arrested at the Houston residence where Villadares was being held, is facing an aggravated kidnapping charge for assisting the men.
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Colin is a New York-based reporter. He covers Entertainment, U.S., and international news. Besides writing for online news outlets he has worked in online marketing and advertising, done voiceover work, and has a background in sound engineering and filmmaking. His foreign language skills include Spanish and Chinese.
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