Aftermath of the standoff

August 20, 2009 8:45:17 PM PDT
Eyewitness News has an exclusive look inside the home where a Katy ISD police officer held his ex-girlfriend hostage Wednesday. She got out alive before he killed himself [PHOTOS: See images from Wednesday's dramatic standoff]

Rachel Hillsman, who is also a Katy ISD police officer, is safe. Her ex-boyfriend Julio "Trey" Reyes, who is also the father of her child, killed himself on Wednesday evening.

There were a lot of agencies represented there but that deputy marshal was one of the first people to talk to Hillsman about her ordeal and even shielded her to safety. Authorities believe she spent most of the 36 hours after her ex-boyfriend kidnapped her in the vacant house you're about to see. What remains there tonight is trash, blood and for some, awful memories.

For more than six hours Wednesday we watched as well-armed SWAT teams sat on the rooftop or hid behind an armored vehicle for protection. Dozens of officers were positioned outside the vacant house where Reyes held his ex-girlfriend Hillsman hostage.

"Some blood stains here," said realtor Bobby Little.

This is the inside.

"He was sitting here to avoid the angles from any windows," said Little.

Little showed us around the two-story house. To him it's a listing, but until this morning it was a crime scene.

Reyes held Hillsman upstairs in a bedroom. He had candles, a bottle of wine, water and a bag of Fritos. He also covered the windows using sheets, ropes and hooks. Downstairs were at least four SWAT officers at all times. Negotiations were ongoing.

Next door, Deputy U.S. Marshal Cameron Welch and others were prepared for any movement.

"It was pins and needles," said Welch.

Given the parties involved, captor and captive both police officers, Welch says it was a unique situation.

"We're dealing a guy who one second is a brother in law enforcement and the next moment he's a suspect," said Welch.

For hours, he says Reyes kept promising to let Hillsman go and even gave time estimates.

"Next five minutes, I'll let her go. Next 10 minutes, she's on her way out," said Welch.

When he finally did, Welch was right there.

"She was just running towards us with her hands were covering her face and she was crying," said Welch.

Though the crime scene tape is still up, the house is still on the market. Little will have a HAZMAT crew clean up any reminders of the crime and the gruesome ending, but they likely will remain forever in his mind.

"You're just curious what those last thoughts were when there was no out for him," said Little.

Two of the four SWAT officers who were inside the house during the standoff were very close to Reyes - on the staircase - as they talked to him. We're told Reyes held a gun to Hillsman's head a number of times throughout the day. She was unharmed, but Reyes committed suicide. Her mother told us Thursday that they all need a little time to process what's happened.

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