GREENVILLE, Texas – Two bounty hunters and the fugitive from Minnesota they were tracking shot and killed each other at a Texas car dealership in front of panicked customers, officials said Wednesday.
The two men, identified by authorities as Fidel Garcia and Gabriel Bernal from Corpus Christi, had pursued Ramon Michael Hutchinson, 49, on Tuesday to a Nissan dealership in Greenville, located about 50 miles northeast of Dallas, reported Fox 4 News.
Stew Peters, a bail investigator with the private Minnesota-based company U.S. Fugitive Recovery and Extradition, told the Associated Press that Hutchinson had been sought since March when he failed to appear for a court hearing in Hennepin County, which includes Minneapolis. Hutchinson, listed in court records as a resident of St. Paul, Minnesota, was facing several charges that included assaulting and disarming a law enforcement officer.
Peters said Garcia was one of their go-to professionals.
“Enjoyed his life in Corpus Christi, lived a modest and humble life,” Peters said about Garcia. “Hard working, dedicated and passionate bounty hunter. He always found his man.”
The bounty hunters tracked Hutchinson to the dealership, and after waiting for several hours, approached him Tuesday evening.
Garcia and Bernal then drew their weapons and Hutchinson responded by drawing his own handgun, which he dropped, according to a statement from Kathy Lucas, spokeswoman for the city of Greenville. The men fought as Hutchinson retrieved his weapon and began firing. The other two fired as well.
Lucas said about 20 rounds were exchanged in the span of six seconds. Customers and employees fled for cover.
Cell phone video released Wednesday by the city of Greenville and posted by FOX 4 News shows the moments before several rounds of shots ring out.
The video shows Garcia and Bernal confront Hutchinson in an office with a dealership employee and another woman inside when the gunfire began. An employee was also with two customers in the office next to them, but none of them sustained injury.
A woman at the dealership called 911 while hiding in the bathroom. “Please hurry,” she told the 911 dispatcher. “I hear a woman screaming.”
All three men were killed in the gunfire.
WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO BELOW
“Mr. Garcia felt the defendant would ultimately appear at that dealership,” Peters told the AP. “Unfortunately Mr. Hutchinson was more prepared for a gunfight.”
Garcia sat on the board of the Texas Association of Licensed Investigators. Fellow board member, Bradley Smith, described him as a “gentle giant.”
“He was a big man and he had a big heart to go with it,” Smith said.
Private investigators registered in Texas are licensed through the state Department of Public Safety, according to Smith, who added that bail-bond companies seeking fugitives in Texas are required to use registered investigators.
(Feature image screenshot of video posted by Fox 4 News)