A kidnapper who held three immigrants hostage in Texas for several days was shot dead by FBI agents on Thursday, officials said.
The kidnappers and their co-conspirators tortured and held them against their will for five days in a north Houston hideout in an attempt to extort money from immigrant families, officials and sources familiar with the case said.
Before dawn on Thursday, federal agents moved in to rescue the hostages, and a shootout erupted.
FBI agent Unleashed a killing blow — and detained a second kidnapper.
All the migrants were rescued safely, according to Special Agent James Smith, who is in charge of the FBI’s Houston office.
An unnamed kidnapper jumped a victim while driving on Interstate 10 outside Houston on March 18.
Waller County prosecutors said the suspect stopped the vehicle, pushed him into another vehicle, and transported him to a hideout. The immigrant driver was the first to call the police.
The kidnappers demanded money from the family of at least one migrant, said a source who requested anonymity.
The kidnappers increased the ransom when the family handed over the cash.
During negotiations, the perpetrators sent multiple videos to local police showing them to be armed. At least one video showed him beating one of his alleged hostages, an elderly man.
FBI agents descended into the hostage hideout on Thursday and rescued the hostages.
Smith declined to say how they found the migrants, what led to the shooting, or how many agents were involved. The identities of none of the suspects have been released.
Smith said the hostages were safely transported to a hotel.
Authorities said all three migrants had illegally crossed the border from Mexico, but did not disclose their nationalities or whether they had been illegally transported at the time of the abduction.
with post wire