A Texas man suspected of kidnapping his 9-year-old niece and sparking a multi-state manhunt was killed Tuesday when police and FBI agents cornered him in a Louisiana motel, rescuing the girl unharmed despite a shootout that also left an FBI agent wounded.
Police had been on the trail of Jessie Nicholas Williams, 24, since Tuesday morning, after Caitlyn Williams never returned to her home in Benbrook, Texas, after leaving Friday to spend the weekend at a friend’s house. The girl never arrived at the friend’s house and police, who put out an Amber Alert on Tuesday, believe she was with her uncle the entire time.
The search grew frantic on Tuesday, as authorities said they believed the girl was in “grave danger” with her uncle. Police in Texas told NBCDFW.com that authorities were led to the Louisiana motel after receiving a tip. Tips generated by the alert led authorities to Bossier City, La., where Williams made his final stand.
"Just a little bit earlier, the FBI attempted to take the suspect into custody," Sandy Eubanks, a Benbrook police officer, told the station. He said the FBI Task Force officer was shot and wounded and the suspect was killed.
"The child was safely recovered," he said.
The scene at the Bossier City Days Inn Tuesday afternoon appeared to be chaotic. Gunfire broke out at 2 p.m. after the FBI reportedly said an officer confronted a man and "a struggle ensued."
The struggle apparently led to gunfire where one FBI agent was shot in the leg and the suspect killed, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. Police in Benbrook identified Jessie Nicholas Williams as the suspect. The FBI would not confirm the death.
The girl was found safe at the motel. A police spokesman told WFAA.com that Caitlyn will be returned to her family "as soon as can be."
The relationship between the girl and the uncle was not immediately clear. The uncle worked in programming computer games and, on Oct. 6, 2011, wished the girl happy birthday on his Facebook page.
A motive for the abduction was not disclosed.