BPD ‘not helping us with this case at all’
Some family members of a Baytown man who was fatally shot Sept. 4 are upset that prosecutors did not recommend a murder charge in the case but are instead plan to present the case to a Harris County grand jury without charges.
Crystal Campa, who identified herself as the step-sister of the deceased, 34-year-old Jose Figueroa, said she believes his death was deliberate and that police are not adequately pursuing the investigation.
“Baytown Police Department is not helping us with this case at all,” Campa said.
“We have gone and talked to the lead detective on numerous occasions,” Campa said. “She won’t release the police report to us, she won’t tell us which way he was shot [in front or back], she won’t tell us how many times he was shot.”
Campad has reached out to local media to state her
case and said she has contacted an attorney as well.
Baytown Assistant Police Chief Eric Freed said Figueroa was killed outside his home in the 800 block of Northbend Drive about 12:45 p.m. Sept. 4 after pointing a modified paintball gun at 25-year-old Aaron Walker.
“A preliminary investigation shows the paintball gun had been modified into a firearm and was loaded with lethal ammunition,” Freed said after the shooting.
Where paintball guns normally fire plastic pellets filled with water-based paint and are used recreationally, he said this paintball gun was crudely modified to fire a shotgun shell.
Campa said Figueroa and Walker had a history of conflict and had planned to fight the previous Wednesday, but that fight did not occur.
Freed said there had been no previous calls to police concerning conflict between the two men.
Walker was bringing a 34-year-old woman to the residence that she shared with Figueroa. Freed said Figueroa had called the woman, his ex-girlfriend, and told her he was injured and needed help.
For her part, Campa said the family believes the situation was a setup.
Freed said the lead detective on the investigation, in line with usual procedure, called the District Attorney’s Office and verbally presented the results of the initial investigation and the prosecutor declined to accept criminal charges, but said the case would need to be referred to a grand jury.
A full written report will be forwarded to the District Attorney’s Office once all forensic results are in, he said.
Freed also said police investigators have spoken with Figueroa’s parents, who are his next-of-kin, and their son-in-law, who translated. “The family was emotional and suspicious the case was not being handled appropriately,” Freed said.
He said, though, the department is not hiding anything.
Freed noted that with the case backlog in the District Attorney’s Office, it can take six months or more for a case to get to a grand jury.