HPD says kidnap victim fatally shot while pulling on FBI agent's rifle

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Houston Police Department released new information Tuesday about the investigation into the shooting death of a kidnap victim during an FBI raid.

During a news conference Tuesday, Chief Art Acevedo discussed the homicide investigation being led by his department.
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HPD Chief Acevedo explains how the kidnapping victim was pulling on the rifle of an FBI agent when the shooting took place

The chief detailed how the FBI SWAT team was at the home on Elbert Street in order to make a rescue to attempt to recover Ulises Valladares.

Valladares had reportedly been kidnapped from his Conroe home.

FBI agents attempted to breach a room in the back of the house where they believed the victim was being held.

Chief Acevedo said the agents were using a tool to break one of the rear windows to gain entry to the house. During that attempt, the agent dropped the tool inside.

The second agent made the decision to use his rifle to gain entry into the room.

According to the HPD, Valladares grabbed the weapon and began pulling on it.

Police say the agent, not knowing who was pulling on his weapon, feared he was going to lose control of his rifle. That agent reportedly made the decision to fire his weapon.

One of the shots hit Valladares. A second shot went into the roof.

The HPD says Valladares was bound in the room. When agents entered the home they immediately requested medical assistance. The victim died at the hospital.

Chief Acevedo says the agents repeatedly yelled "FBI" while attempting to enter the home.

Conditions in the room were described as dark since the FBI made the decision not to use lights during the rescue attempt.

Jimmy Tony Sanchez, Nicholas Chase Cunningham and Sophia Perez Heath are all facing charges in connection with the kidnapping.

VIDEO: Suspects appear in court
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Kidnapping suspects appear in court

The judge set no bond for Sanchez and Cunningham and set a $1 million bond for Heath.

According to the criminal complaint, the suspects demanded $20,000 in ransom as the victim was held at gunpoint in a northeast Houston home. Initially, they told Valladares his brother owed them $8,000.

Furthermore, investigators alleged the suspects threatened Valladares' other family members, who they could easily name because the victim is related to Cunningham by marriage.

Cunningham reportedly told investigators he also had a girlfriend, who was identified as Heath, and that the victim was being held at her house in northeast Houston.

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ABC13's Deborah Wrigley reports from Webster, where authorities arrested 2 of 3 suspects in a far-reaching kidnapping case.

The medical examiner ruled Valladares' cause of death as "gunshot wound of the left upper extremity with re-entry of the torso."

The FBI says two children were inside the home when the man was killed. The family came and picked up a boy and a girl.

Brett Ligon, the Montgomery County district attorney, says his office will look into the possibility of murder charges in the case since the suspect's alleged actions led to the victim's death.

Meanwhile, the FBI has remained tight-lipped on the entire incident.

The FBI says the agent involved in the shooting will be placed on leave pending the investigation.

FULL VIDEO: Conroe PD and Montgomery Co. district attorney discuss kidnapping case and charges against 3 suspects

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Conroe Police Chief Philip Dupuis and Montgomery County DA Brett Ligon brief the media on kidnapping that ended tragically

TIMELINE: Far-reaching kidnapping ends in victim's killing

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Kidnapping victim timeline

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