Shootout Between Fugitive, Bounty Hunters Leaves 3 Dead at Texas Nissan Dealership
City officials say 20 shots were fired in six seconds.
Two Texas bounty hunters and the Minnesota man they were following killed each other in a hail of gunfire at a Nissan dealership in Texas Tuesday night as terrified employees and customers dove for cover, according to reports.
Fidel Garcia Jr., 54, and Gabriel Bernal, 33, had tracked fugitive Ramon Michael Hutchinson, 49, to Nissan of Greenville on Tuesday evening and were attempting to make an arrest when the deadly shootout began.
According to an interview with the CEO of the dealership group that owns the Nissan franchise, the two plainclothes bounty hunters arrived several hours beforehand and presented themselves as federal agents—a violation of Texas state law. They told employees that a woman who had come by earlier that day to buy a car would be returning with Hutchinson later that evening to finalize the purchase, and they planned to apprehend him when he showed up.
The men waited for over two hours before Hutchinson appeared with the woman around 7:00 in the evening. Video of the moments leading up to the shootout shows the bounty hunters approach Hutchinson with their guns drawn as he sits in a small, glass-walled office with the woman and a Nissan employee. Hutchinson immediately attempts to pull his own gun out of his waistband, but drops it on the desk and all three lunge for it.
Shots ring out in rapid succession as people scream and scramble for cover; city officials say 20 shots were fired in six seconds. Garcia, Bernal, and Hutchinson all suffered multiple gunshot wounds and were pronounced dead at the scene. Miraculously, no one else was injured despite the showroom being mostly full with shoppers seeking end-of-month deals.
WARNING: SOME MAY FIND THE BELOW VIDEO DISTURBING.
RFJ Auto Partners Holdings Inc. CEO Rick Ford told Automotive News he's incredibly thankful none of his employees or customers were hurt, and he's already hired counselors to help his team cope with the trauma. But he added that the timing of the shooting couldn't have been worse, as the dealership remains closed through what should be a busy post-holiday week.
"Not only did we lose sales yesterday, because there were customers in the showroom in the process of completing their sales," said Ford. "Then, all the sales we had scheduled for today, which is typically one of our busiest days of the month, the last day of the month, we lost."
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