HOUSTON - The mother of a man killed by an FBI agent is pleading for answers more than two years after he was killed without any word of discipline or prosecution of the agent.
Ulises Valladares was kidnapped and held hostage in Houston in January 2018. The FBI was on a mission to save him. Instead, an agent ended up shooting and killing him. On Wednesday his mother held a press conference begging for answers.
"I want a personal explanation from the FBI why this happened," said Justina Garcia, Valladares’ mom. "So that my heart can rest. I can have peace in my heart."
Garcia spoke through a translator, having just arrived in the U.S. from Honduras after spending the past two years getting a visa and funding allowing her to go to the place where her son was killed.
"I want an explanation why my son was killed when he was innocent, and he was tied up, because I came to find the answer, and it’s costing me a lot of pain in my heart," said Garcia.
The name of the FBI agent who pulled the trigger was never released.
"The FBI found out where he was, and they came to rescue him, but instead of rescuing him, they shot him and killed him—the kidnapping victim," said Randall Kallinen, the attorney representing Garcia.
Kallinen is calling on the Harris County District Attorney to finish investigating the case after the U.S. Department of Justice chose not to bring charges against the FBI agent.
"Ulises Valladares was bound in his hands," said Kallinen. "He was blindfolded. At first, the FBI said that Ulises had grabbed the FBI agent’s gun. However, Chief Acevedo said that that story is not true, and the Harris County medical examiner said that this was not an up-close shooting."
Other activists joined the press conference, calling for answers in the shooting that left Valladares’ 12-year-old son fatherless.
"A mother has lost her son, a son has lost his father, and they need justice," said Shelby Stewart, a retired Houston police sergeant, and civil rights activist.
"Over 900 days this family has been waiting for justice while her son lays in the grave—wondering why the people who breached the door to help him was the one that killed him," said Noel Pinnock, a civil rights activist.
The Harris County District Attorney’s Office told FOX 26 Wednesday they could not confirm or deny whether they’ll be presenting evidence in this case to a grand jury. They said their investigations are back up due to COVID.
"The family of Ulises Valladares has every right to be frustrated," said Harris County DA’s spokesman John Donnelly. "Houston-based federal authorities took control of the scene of the shooting, removed all the evidence, and literally left our Civil Rights prosecutors on the outside looking in."
The FBI and US Attorney’s office did not immediately respond to FOX 26’s calls for comment Wednesday.