GREENVILLE, Texas (AP) — Two bounty hunters killed in a point-blank shootout with a Minnesota fugitive at a Texas car dealership were offered $3,000 to apprehend the felon, according to a police report.
Private investigators Fidel Garcia Jr. and Gabriel Bernal would have collected the payout if they had succeeded in taking Ramon Michael Hutchinson, 49, into custody.
Instead, the three men exchanged about 20 shots with Hutchinson on May 30 inside a glass office at the Nissan showroom, leaving the two private investigators and their target dead. Cellphone video recorded by people inside the dealership showed Hutchinson pull a handgun from his waistband as the bounty hunters approach. He dropped the gun, fought with the two men but was able to retrieve and start firing. Customers and employees are heard screaming as they run for cover.
A Minnesota bail-bond company had hired Garcia and Bernal to find Hutchinson, of St. Paul. They traced him to the dealership in Greenville, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northeast of Dallas, after he skipped a court hearing in Minnesota on felony charges.
A Greenville police officer searched Garcia’s vehicle after the shooting and found papers with Hutchinson’s personal information and printed email exchanges that indicated $3,000 would be paid for his capture, according to the police report, obtained this week by The Dallas Morning News.
Hutchinson apparently appeared unannounced the night before the shooting at the Greenville home of a woman with whom he had three children, the report said. The woman had been to the Nissan dealership to buy a new car and returned with Hutchinson the next day to trade in her old one.
A Greenville officer found the woman screaming and kneeling over his body following the shooting. The officer had to physically remove the woman from the building, the police report said.
Hutchinson had been sought since March when he failed to appear for a court hearing in Hennepin County, which includes Minneapolis. He was facing several charges that included assaulting a law enforcement officer.