HOUSTON - Tina Kingshill now questions the handling of her Labor Day carjacking and says if the teen who held her at gunpoint and stole her car had been kept behind bars, Thursday night's crime spree that left a Houston police officer seriously wounded would never have happened.
The teen, 17-year-old Brandon Bell, was shot and killed by police Thursday. Investigators said he was one of four suspects on a violent crime spree in Houston's Southside that night.
Kingshill said when she arrived in Sunnyside Sept. 2 to recover her stolen vehicle, Houston police told her that Bell was still on the scene. She said she wanted to identify him then, but was told she could not.
"I was told by one of the officers that the identification could not take place that evening because if it's been more than two hours on that same day, you can't do that ID," Kingshill said.
Because Kingshill was not allowed to identify Bell that evening, he was only charged with misdemeanor criminal trespass of a vehicle.
She says four days later, Houston police called her downtown to do a photo lineup to try to identify Bell.
On Sept. 9, Bell was charged with a more serious crime connected to the carjacking: aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon, a felony.
Investigators issued a warrant for his arrest. He was due in court Sept. 10 on the misdemeanor criminal trespass charge but never showed up.
Kingshill believes if she had been allowed to identify Bell sooner, he would have been charged with the more serious crime sooner and might have still been behind bars. Instead, he was out on bail when his alleged crimes caught up to him Sept. 12.
"In my eyes, none of this should have happened. He should not have been on the street," Kingshill said.
Copyright 2019 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.