HOUSTON - Surveillance video showing the moments two Houston bounty hunters shot and killed a suspect is raising questions.
The video shows bounty hunters attempting to execute a warrant in the dead of night. Just moments after those bounty hunters exited the car, shots were fired and the man they were approaching lost his life.
His family says he had no way to know who the men approaching his car were, and a local bounty hunter looked at the video, and said he agrees.
The video has been viewed more than 400,000 times on social media. It shows 31-year-old Walter Hutchins walking to his car on Liberty Road in Houston's Fifth Ward around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday.
You can see two vehicles pull up blocking him in, two men jump out, and then run-up to his car. Then moments later, shots were fired. Hutchins was hit in the head and later died from his injuries.
"They never gave him a chance, they never gave him a warning to know that they were any type of authority figure," said Houston Music Executive J Prince.
Prince says these bounty hunters never should’ve approached Hutchins late at night in an area where robberies and carjackings are common.
"It was a real ambush, all he had an opportunity to do was put his car in reverse, and you can clearly see gunshots entering the car," said Prince. ‘
Houston police say the bounty hunters were executing a felony warrant; they told police they identified themselves as they approached and that Hutchins shot first, so they returned fire. However, J Prince says if you look closely at this video, it tells a different story.
"The renegades assassinated him, no matter how they want to change the narrative, it was an assassination," said Prince.
Christopher Powell, a private investigator with A-Mobile Bail Bonds watched the video. He’s been tracking down fugitives for more than a decade, and he says in this case, he would’ve handled things differently. He put an emphasis on making sure he and his team are able to be clearly identified as bounty hunters.
"I make sure we’re properly identifiable. We have badges, we have our vest, they have patches on them that show what we are."
He continued saying he understands how Hutchins could’ve been confused when the men approached him.
"The area they’re in is Fifth Ward and obviously it’s late at night, just running up on someone in plain clothes, they don’t know what’s going on. They don’t know if you’re gang-affiliated, if you’re doing a robbery, if you’re about to steal their car," Powell explained.
A reliable source told FOX 26, the two bounty hunters involved work for Fearless Bail Bonds. So we gave them a call but they chose not to comment.
J Prince says Hutchins left behind a newborn baby; and that once his family is done mourning, they plan to fight for justice.
We asked Houston police if these bounty hunters will face charges for their actions. They say the investigation is ongoing and that it’ll be presented to the District Attorney's Office who will decide if and what charges they could face.