Police knew nine-year-old was in Killeen home before SWAT raid

Emani Payne reports.

KILLEEN - Channel Six spoke with Killeen police Thursday and they told us they were aware there was a nine-year-old girl in the house before a Wednesday morning SWAT raid that left a Killeen family's home in ruins. 

The family was outraged after explosives were used to serve a no knock warrant at 5:15 a.m.

Jamar Carson returned to his home after dropping his fiancée off at work to what looked like a war scene.

“All this charred debris, it blew up and blew back this way and even knocked the level off my awning up here,” Carson said. “I couldn’t get over there. I couldn’t get to my daughter, I couldn’t get to my son to see what was happening.”

The officers told Channel Six Wednesday they blew open the garage door, blew open the front door and rammed through the window.

Inside, they arrested Carson's son, 19-year-old Ryan O’Neal on an outstanding warrant for Theft of a Firearm and took him into custody without incident. During the search of the home, detectives recovered an unspecified amount of narcotics, and property stolen in a previous residential burglary.

"Due to the nature of the individual, we were going out there to serve this warrant on, he is a high risk because of his criminal history and he is considered a flight risk," KPD Spokesperson Ofelia Miramontez said. 

Killeen PD claimed they did everything in their power to keep the girl inside the home safe and said they followed proper protocol.

"While it's terrible that children are involved, if they think the person is armed and and dangerous then the no knock entry just protects the police a little bit more from that person getting time to get a weapon," Channel Six Expert Liz Mitchell said. 

The family said a SWAT team detonated explosives and stormed the home without warning, as the little girl slept just feet away.

As the family works to put things back in place after the raid, it is not the arrest they are taking issue with, it is the show of force.

“So, they come and arrest my grandson, fine I have no problem with that, but the violence that they used, I will not tolerate that from my police department,” Roland Cebulski the homeowner said. “There’s nothing that’s stopping these people knocking on the door and somebody coming to answer.”

After the explosion, the family demanded answers from the Killeen Police Department to why there was such a display of force was necessary and why they seemingly put a young child in harm’s way.

“Had something gone awry with that explosive, it could have gone right through my granddaughter’s wall,” Cebulski said.

Carson’s daughter Zakyra Hamilton turned nine-years-old Tuesday and less than 24 hours later, she said she was being led barefoot across shattered glass by police.

“I jumped up on the chair because I was afraid the glass would stick in my foot,” Hamilton said.

Carson said they would've been more than welcome to open the door to talk and discuss. 

"If they say we have warrants, then come on in, search, do what you have to do, we’re not going to stop you doing your job, but don’t jeopardize people while you’re doing it,” Carson said.

He said the city should pay for the damages.
 
"I hope and pray to have full cooperation from the city," Carson said.
 
When asked about paying for the home damages the city said they have not received a claim for damages.  
 
"Should a claim be received the city's insurance provider will determine responsibility," the city said. 
 
No word on if KPD plans to change their no knock warrant policy.
 
 
 
 
 

© 2017 KCEN-TV


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