A man shot and killed a robbery suspect in a Mexican restaurant in Houston, Texas, on January 5, 2023, according to a news release from Houston police.
The shooting was captured on video. You can watch the video below but be aware that it is graphic and disturbing.
Houston police are seeking the gunman, who has not been identified, they wrote in the news release. “Houston police are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying a male wanted for questioning in the fatal shooting of a robbery suspect at 6873 South Gessner Road about 11:30 p.m. on Thursday” January 5, 2023, they wrote in the release.
Houston police later told KHOU-TV that they had heard from an attorney for the customer who indicated the customer is ready to speak with police.
Here’s what you need to know:
Video Captures the Moment the Male Customer Shoots the Robber
The video shows the masked and armed robber making his way through the restaurant before he walks past a male customer who is seated in a booth. The man then rises and shoots the robber right after the robber walked past him.
People hid under tables after the robber entered the restaurant, the video shows. KHOU-TV reported that the shooting occurred at the Ranchito Taqueria restaurant.
Houston police told KHOU-TV that the robber had a fake gun. “The robbery suspect he came into the store and was wearing masks and gloves,” Houston police Lieutenant R. Wilkens said to KHOU. “He had a plastic pistol possibly an aero soft or possibly a little BB pistol.”
KHOU Legal Analyst Carmen Roe told the station that the shooting appears to be self-defense.
“One of the reasons that law enforcement is seeking out this individual is to find out whether he was in fear for his life or the lives of the people around him because that’s absolutely essential to a self-defense claim under the law,” Roe told KHOU. “If you’re justified in shooting the first bullet, you’re justified in continuing to shoot until the deadly threat is no longer there.”
According to Texas statutes, a person “is justified in using deadly force against another” if it is necessary “to protect the actor against the other’s use or attempted use of unlawful deadly force” or “to prevent the other’s imminent commission of aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery.”
Houston Police Released Surveillance Video Images of the Shooter, Saying They Want to Speak With Him
Houston police released photos of the shooter and his vehicle. “Surveillance photos of the male and his vehicle, a 1970s or ’80s model pickup truck with no bed, are attached to this news release. Investigators want to speak with the man for his role in the shooting. No charges have been filed,” police wrote in the news release.
“The identity of the deceased male suspect, believed to be in his 20s, is pending verification by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences,” they wrote.
Houston Police Homicide Division Sergeants M. Arrington, C. Duncan and Detectives S. Overstreet and L. Lovelace reported in the press release that:
Officers were dispatched to a shooting call at the restaurant at the above address and observed an unknown black male in all black clothing, a black ski mask, and black gloves had been shot multiple times inside the business. Paramedics pronounced him deceased.
Witnesses told officers the suspect entered the restaurant and pointed a pistol at patrons as he demanded their money. As the suspect collected money from patrons, one of the patrons, described as a white or Hispanic male, produced a gun of his own and shot the suspect multiple times. The shooter collected the stolen money from the suspect and returned the money to other patrons. He and other patrons (victims) then fled the scene.
Investigators are asking the shooter and the victims who left the scene to contact the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 to provide statements regarding the incident.
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