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Family sues FBI agent who shot, killed kidnapping victim

HOUSTON – A Houston man's death after a botched FBI hostage rescue is now the subject of a federal civil rights lawsuit.

In January, Ulises Valladares was kidnapped and held for a $20,000 ransom. Investigators said that when the FBI attempted to rescue Valladares at a northeast Houston home, he was mistakenly shot and killed by an agent.

The Houston Police Department was the investigating agency.

"When he felt he was starting to lose control, he intentionally discharged his rifle, striking Mr. Valladares once," said HPD Chief Art Acevedo the afternoon after the shooting.

Now, the Valladares family is suing the three alleged kidnappers and the unnamed agent who fired the weapon on behalf of Valladares' 12-year-old son. Channel 2 spoke to the family's attorney.

"A part of this lawsuit will be to get the compensation and funds to be put into a trust for the child," attorney Randall Kallinen said, "so that when he grows up he'll be able to have that same support, monetary support that his father would've given him."

The lawsuit also seeks damages for emotional distress, but Kallinen said the case is as much about the public as it is about the 12-year-old who tragically lost his father.

"The public has the right to know what police procedures are being used," he said. "If there's any changes that need to be made, then those changes should be made."

Channel 2 reached out to the FBI for comment about the lawsuit.

Here's the statement that was emailed to us:

"The FBI reviews all shooting incidents involving Special Agents, and we continue to coordinate with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, and the Houston Police Department.

"No additional information will be provided, as this matter is under review by the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General."


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