HFD fire inspector fatally shot at north Houston home; Suspect at large

Alain Bell is charged with murder for the shooting death of a Houston fire inspector
July 15, 2013 2:44:02 PM PDT
Police are searching for a man wanted in the shooting death of a Houston fire inspector Monday at a home on the north side.

It happened in the 500 block of West Troy near Stuebner-Airline. Crime scene tape crisscrossed the residential street Monday. Its usual quietness was shattered around 10am, when Linda Walker and her husband heard two gunshots.

"It was like 'boom, boom,'" Walker said. "And I was like, 'oh!'"

Police said those shots were allegedly fired by the stepfather of a 17-year-old girl who lives in a home on the street with her brother and dad. When the girl and her father pulled up to their house Monday morning, police said the girl's stepfather, Alain Bell, was waiting.

"The daughter says she got out of the vehicle, went up to the garage -- the door is open at that time -- and the next thing she knows, she hears what sounds like a shotgun racking," Houston Police Department spokesperson John Cannon said.

Moments later, officials said two shots were fired. The father, a 30-year veteran of the Houston Fire Department, was gravely injured.

As neighbors scrambled to call 911, Bell reportedly got back into his black pickup truck and calmly drove away.

"But I was standing by the door and the black truck drove by," Walker recalled. "He looked at me, I looked at him, and he drove off like nothing was wrong."

The victim was rushed to an area hospital where he later died. HFD confirms the victim was a fire inspector.

Fire Chief Terry Garrison spoke exclusively with Eyewitness News Monday afternoon. The chief says the department is ready to provide support to his family.

"We were developing a plan on how to move forward, depending on what happens with our member, what the outcome is and really how to support him, how to support his family, and really how to support those members that have worked with him," Garrison said.

Garrison said the department is distraught over the shooting, coming just weeks after four firefighters were killed in a motel fire. The fire chief says HPD Chief Charles McClelland personally called him Monday.

HPD detectives are working the case. Bell is charged with murder in the 183rd State District Court. He is not in custody and is wanted at this time. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is urged to contact the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

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