The morning he was killed, Harry Wilson Aguilar Sr. stood in the kitchen of an Arlington apartment making school lunches for his grandchildren.
Outside the apartment, about 6:30 a.m., agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the FBI, and other law officers were lined up in tactical formation.
BATFE and FBI agents broke open the front door. A federal lawsuit filed in Fort Worth says an unidentified BATFE agent was standing at the doorway or just outside when he fatally shot the 55-year-old father of three adult children in the neck without provocation.
“They just broke down the door and they shot,” said his widow, Margarita Aguilar.
He died on the way to the hospital.
Harry Aguilar, a house painter, was unarmed, did not pose a threat or imminent danger to the agents and didn’t hinder the agents from entering the apartment, the lawsuit, filed by Aguilar’s family, contends. Aguilar’s son was the subject of the search warrant.
The lawsuit, filed Feb. 3 in U.S. District Court, accuses the agent of shooting Aguilar immediately.
Danny Burns of Fort Worth, one of the attorneys representing the family, said the BATFE may say the agents believed that Aguilar had a weapon. A search of the apartment found no firearms, illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia but did discover an air pistol, a gun magazine and a bullet, according to the testimony of a Fort Worth FBI agent in the case involving Aguilar’s son.
The government has not filed an answer to the lawsuit, though a footnote to the court motion says the “United States disputes much of the basis for [the family's] complaint, such as whether Aguilar Sr. complied with verbal orders of the BATFE agent and whether Aguilar Sr. made threatening motions toward the BATFE agent.”