Parents of man shot by FBI at north Houston motel call for transparency: 'Give us closure'

Alberto Montes II's alleged accomplice, 17-year-old Josiah Jackson, is currently behind bars accused of aggravated kidnapping.

Jessica Willey Image
Thursday, April 6, 2023
FBI keeping us in the dark over son's killing, parents say
Parents of a 20-year-old killed during an FBI hostage rescue are casting doubt on whether the agency was justified in shooting him.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The parents of a man who was killed in an FBI hostage rescue two weeks ago question whether the shooting was justifiable.

Alberto Montes II, 20, was shot to death in the doorway of room 218 at the Studio 6 Motel on the North Beltway. According to court records, Montes had a gun, but his parents want proof.

"Was he armed? Was he trying to shoot? We just want to know what happened to our son," Melissa Romo and Alberto Montes Sr. said in their first interview.

The shooting happened on March 23, as the FBI was attempting to rescue a hostage, the agency said. One hostage had already been exchanged safely for a ransom, court records show.

RELATED: 17-year-old charged with kidnapping migrants following FBI raid at Greenspoint motel, records say

The two hostages, described as migrants, were kidnapped along I-10 days earlier. The parents said their son was not involved in the kidnapping. They believe he was involved only as a translator.

Montes' alleged accomplice, 17-year-old Josiah Jackson, ran off during the rescue operation but was later arrested. He is charged with two counts of aggravated kidnapping and remains in jail.

"Were they trying to get (Jackson) and my son to walk out of that room and surprise them? What is it?" Melissa Romo asked.

The parents are seeking answers. They say the FBI will not provide information or show them the video from the motel cameras of the shooting.

"They're only saying to the FBI, 'Please show us the video that my son was not executed, outright. Please show us he had a chance to surrender. Please show us you announced who you were. Please show us he did something to justify the use of deadly force,'" activist Quanell X explained.

Montes' parents shared two photos of their son on motel property in more casual situations over the three days they were there. One shows him on Instagram Live, and the other shows him in the parking lot flashing cash.

RELATED: 1 killed in hostage rescue that ended in shooting involving FBI in Greenspoint area, agency says

"Why didn't the FBI get them down at that time? They had plenty of time," Romo asked.

The FBI did not answer ABC13's questions Wednesday. Instead, a spokesperson sent the same statement the agency released last week:

"The investigation by the FBI Shooting Incident Review Team (SIRT) of the March 23, 2023, agent-involved shooting at the Studio 6 motel in north Houston continues.

The SIRT is conducting a thorough, factual, and objective investigation of the incident. To protect the integrity of its ongoing investigation, no more details will be released at this time."

The secrecy is making the parents suspicious. They say transparency would go a long way.

"Give us closure, peace. Be able to mourn my son. I haven't been able to mourn my son," Romo said.

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