A kidnapping victim was killed during the FBI raid of a northeast Houston, Texas home.
Victim Ulises Villadares was shot to death and later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. Earlier that day, two men with guns forced their way into Villadares’ home. Those men demanded money and then tied up Villadares and his 12-year-old son. After the victims were bound, they searched around the house for valuables.
The two armed men appeared to be looking for Villadares’ brother, who lived in the home but wasn’t present. According to Click2Houston, they kicked down his bedroom door. During their search for valuables, the child told police that he heard the men say that his uncle owed them $8,000. Eventually, the two assailants took Villadares out of the house, leaving his son behind but not before telling the child not to call police or else they’d kill his father. The boy freed himself and ran to a neighbor's for help.
That neighbor called the boy’s uncle who went to meet with police to discuss the situation. During his meeting with police, he received a call from someone who claimed to be from a Mexican drug cartel, who demanded $20K for Villadares, KHOU reports. Villadares’ life was once again threatened if the uncle involved police.
Police and the FBI tracked the phone call to a nearby Best Western where they arrested Jimmy Tony Sanchez, 38, and Nicholas Chase Cunningham, 42. Both have been charged with aggravated kidnapping and aggravated robbery and it is unclear if either has lawyers who can speak on their behalf at this time. According to Click2Houston, Cunningham allegedly told police that Villadares was being held at the home of Cunningham’s girlfriend, Sophia Perez Heath.
The FBI went to that home, where Villadares was found bound with tape. It was then that FBI agents fatally shot him, accidentally. It is unclear how or why at this time. Houston FBI Public Affairs Officer Christina Garza revealed during a news conference that two children were home at the same time. Nobody else besides the kidnapping victim was hurt.
“The system failed. Whether it was accidental or not, the man is not going home to his family,” Conroe Police Chief Philip Dupuis told the Associated Press.
Health, 35, is being charged with aggravated kidnapping. It is unclear if she has obtained an attorney.
The FBI released a statement, reading: "FBI was conducting an operation at a home in the 7300 block of Elbert Street in Northeast Houston. During the course of the operation, an individual was fatally injured. The FBI's Evidence Response Team is on scene. As with any agent-involved shooting, the Shooting Incident Review Team will investigate the matter. [...] The FBI takes very seriously any shooting incidents involving our agents and as such have an effective, time-tested process for addressing them. In the interest of protecting the investigation's integrity, we cannot comment regarding investigative details."
[Photo: Conroe Police Department]