CYPRESS, Texas - A shootout in a Cypress neighborhood at 8:00 on a Saturday morning leaves one person shot, three men arrested and it’s all because of a case of mistaken identity.
For years, Frederick Randle Jr. has been a private investigator at UMMC Investigations, the company he owns, arresting fugitives who jump bail but this time he was the one arrested and charged.
"It is a nightmare," says Randle. Now the business owner who typically works with attorneys is finding himself in need of one.
"My client is sincerely apologetic. He has hired me and my team of attorneys to represent him," explains Attorney Wilvin Carter.
You see, the night before the shootout Private Investigator Randle was hired to arrest a fugitive child predator. After running surveillance and confirming with a neighbor the man lived there, Randle and his two employees went to the Cypress home, finding the homeowner outside.
"We saw him by the driveway. Then he went into the garage. My employee followed him in and my other employee followed him in and all of a sudden the garage closed on them and it trapped them inside. Then from that point, I heard gunshots," Randle explains.
Randle says the homeowner opened fire on his two employees, Licensed Private Investigators Frederic Siddique and Angel Galvan. He says Siddique ultimately shot back. Galvan was shot in the arm.
"They were behaving in a manner in relation to their training and policy provided to them by the state of Texas," says Carter.
The bounty hunters thought they were in a shootout with their fugitive but the 'wanted man' actually no longer lives there and the homeowner thought he was being robbed.
"I didn’t know that until the police department told me afterwards that it was the wrong guy and my heart just fell out the window. I really feel bad. I can’t even sleep because I’m thinking about the family, the trauma they endured, the children," says Randle.
The three private investigators were arrested.
"The charges are very serious. He, as well as, his employees are charged with Burglary of a Habitation with the Intent to Commit Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon," Carter explains. The punishment ranges from two to twenty years in prison. "We didn’t have any intent to commit any malicious act against anyone. That’s not what we do in our business. That’s not who I am. I’m a well-respected person," says Randle.
The homeowner, his wife, and three grandchildren who were in the house were not shot in the incident. The private investigator who was shot in the arm is expected to survive.
Randle’s attorney says they want to "make the family whole somehow" and they're hoping the DA’s office will review the case, realize this was not a robbery attempt and dismiss the charges.