FBI: Hostage situation prompts operation in Houston; multiple rescued, 1 dead

The FBI says multiple hostages have been rescued and one person is dead after a multi-day operation that led to a large law enforcement presence in north Houston.

On Thursday morning, the FBI confirmed that as "part of law enforcement activity" they were at a scene on Esplanade Blvd, where multiple other agencies were also seen for hours. By mid-morning the law enforcement presence was concentrated at a motel just to the north near Beltway 8 and the I-45 North Freeway.

This all started after at least two people were kidnapped and the FBI and several other agencies arrived at the Studio 6 Motel on the Beltway to rescue them.

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One person was shot by an FBI agent early this morning and several hours later, well into the evening, the FBI’s Evidence Response Team is still investigating the scene.

According to FBI Houston Special Agent in Charge James Smith this mission to rescue hostages began two days ago and was initially to assist the Waller County Sheriff’s Office. 

Since Tuesday a number of law enforcement agencies have been working together in an operation to rescue the two people who were being held hostage.

The agencies that teamed up to help also include the Houston Police Department, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, SWAT officers responded, deputy constables, there were armored vehicles brought in, and we’re told a bomb squad also assisted in this effort to rescue the hostages.

In an update later Thursday evening, the FBI gave a few more details saying everyone who was being held was recovered safely.

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"This morning around 4:30 a.m. as the FBI was working to rescue two hostages inside this location agents with the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team from Quantico, Virginia was conducting a hostage rescue when the shooting occurred. One suspect was shot and killed. A second suspect was taken into custody by the Harris County Sheriff’s Department," says SAC James Smith.

According to the FBI, no agents were injured, but one person is dead.

The FBI said the operation was initiated to assist the Waller County Sheriff’s Office, but no further information has been provided on what prompted the operation.

It's unclear where the hostages were rescued or how many there were.

"The SIRT will conduct a thorough, factual, and objective investigation of the events. In the interest of protecting the investigation's integrity, we cannot provide any further details at this time," the FBI said, in part, in a statement.

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The scene in north Houston is being processed by the FBI's Evidence Response Team. The public is asked to avoid the area, but officials say there is no threat to public safety at this time.

An FBI Shooting Incident Review Team will investigate the agent-involved shooting.

No word yet on the identity of the person who was shot and killed at the Studio 6 Motel by an FBI Agent, and the FBI hasn’t released how an operation beginning in Waller County ended up in Houston’s Greenspoint area. We’re also still working to find out why the two people were being held hostage and who was holding them.