Police: Suspect arrested in HFD inspector murder

His daughter claims he was ambushed by her stepfather

HOUSTON - Houston police say the man accused of shooting and killing an HFD inspector has been arrested.

Police said Alain Bell was arrested at around 3pm Tuesday. Officers located Bell driving on the 610 South Loop West when they said he fled for a short distance before being taken into custody.

The shooting happened at around 10 a.m. Monday in the 500 block of West Troy and Stuebner Airline Road.

Stoneham's girlfriend, Tracy Blackwell was out of town when a friend called her to tell her what had happened.

"I hyperventilated a little bit and I'm still trying to analyze it, because just the other day, just Sunday, I'm talking to him and like, I don't understand this," said Blackwell.

Bell is a registered sex offender who was sentenced to serve 45 yrs in 1985 for aggravated robbery and aggravated sexual assault. He was released on parole in 2000.

He married Stoneham's ex-wife after he got out of prison.  Tracy Blackwell says there had been friction between Bell and Stoneham in recent weeks. Stoneham, she says, was concerned about Bell being around his three teenage children.

"He felt something was wrong. He just could not put his hands on it," she said.

Neighbors watched the shooting in disbelief.

"I'm still in shock and it's hard for me to process," said John Stegall.

He was taking out the trash when the boom of a shotgun sent him scrambling for cover.

"I'll have trouble sleeping tonight," said Stegall.

He yelled for his wife to dial 911 as he saw his neighbor, 55-year-old David Stoneham, lying in the street. While Stegall's was on the phone with a dispatcher, his wife tried to comfort Stoneham's 17-year-old daughter, who was screaming in the front yard.

"I said, 'You OK?' She said, 'No, that's my dad and my stepfather shot my dad,'" said Linda Walker.

Police said it appeared the suspect, 45-year-old Alain Bell, waited for Stoneham to come home, parking his truck a couple of houses away. Detectives said Stoneham's daughter told them she and her father had just pulled into the driveway on West Troy near Stuebner Airline, when she got out of the car and was walking up to the house.

"All she heard was the racking of the gun, the shots and then heard dad collapse," said John Cannon with the Houston Police Department.

Police said Stoneham was shot twice point blank. The daughter told police Bell shot her father once in the chest. When her father fell to the ground, she said he was shot again.

Officials said Stoneham later died at the hospital. After the shooting, neighbors said they saw Bell calmly walk back to his truck and drive off.

"He looked at me and I looked at him and he just went on down the street like nothing had happened," said Walker.

"He just took his time going on down the road," Stegall said.

Neighbors said Stoneham's daughter would only say it's a big mess.

"Shocking to me. To see a body in the street, someone shooting. It's traumatic to me," said Stegall.

Bell is now charged with murder. He's being held without bond.

Jeff Caynon, president of the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association, released a statement which read:

"The men and women of the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association were saddened by the tragic passing of our brother. He was a thirty-three year member in good standing. We will keep his family members in our thoughts and prayers."

Stoneham began his career with the Houston Fire Department in 1980 and was promoted to inspector in 1999.

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