Homeowner shoots bounty hunter

April 8, 2009 7:30:50 PM PDT
A north Houston homeowner opened fire on a group of bounty hunters. One of the bounty hunters was hit during the early morning raid. Now there are conflicting reports about who was armed, what was said, and why the bounty hunters went to the home in the first place. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

The wounded bounty hunter was shot in the stomach while trying to find a fugitive Wednesday morning. The man was with several others who knocked on the door of the home on Lynda Lane near West Mount Houston. But there are a lot of questions about whether the men were armed when the homeowner opened fire.

"When I saw him pull a gun through my door, I slammed the door and I shot twice," said Jesus Hinojosa.

Hinojosa is adamant about what happened. He opened fire at his house, he says, fearing for his family's safety.

"They could have done this a thousand other ways," he said. "It would have resulted in that guy not getting shot."

It was 3:30am when Hinojosa says he was awoken by a series of bangs on his door. Looking outside, he says he saw a bunch of men and he says they were armed.

"I opened the door and the big guy, he stuck a barrel through the door and I remember it clearly," he said. "I remember it clearly because the shotgun had a flashlight on it."

Fearing for his family, he says he says he grabbed his Glock Nine and fired through the door, striking one of the men. He says never during the raid did the men identify themselves as bond forfeiture agents.

"I never heard them once, not one of us or nobody in my house heard them identify themselves as police officers or anything," said Hinojosa.

The man who was shot has been identified by the Harris County Sheriff's Office as Tyson Kennedy. The company he was hired by, 24&7 Security, admits he was carrying the handgun, which is against the law. But he denies the incident went down as Hinojosa describes.

"He says the guy had a shotgun with a light on," said Clinon Epps with 24-7 Security. "That's not true."

They claim the agents did follow normal protocol and that they did announce themselves as security agents and they never did make entry.

"Those guys went over there, identified themselves, who they were," said Epps. "He didn't respond. Nobody forced entry on his door. You can look at his door."

But more questions have surfaced. Although state records list Kennedy as a licensed non-commissioned security officer, he was not registered with 24&7. The company claims the paperwork simply had not been filed yet. As a non-commissioned officer, Kennedy was not supposed to have a weapon at the time of the raid.

For Hinojosa, he believes he was in the right.

"It's unfortunate what happened to the guy," he said. "If I had to do it over again, I'd do the same thing."

The agency says they went to the right house, that they were looking for a man who used to date the homeowner's mother. They say they went to the three houses before this one and didn't have any problems. Each time, the agents did identify themselves as bond agents.

Kennedy is listed in good condition. The sheriff's office continues to investigate this case.

Bail bond security agencies have to follow some very strict rules while trying to make arrests. They cannot enter a home without consent of the occupant. They cannot wear any uniform, or carry any badge, or insignia, that implies they are an agent of the federal or state government. And they cannot use deadly force.

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