KHOU-TV reported that Houston police have confirmed that the victim of a restaurant robbery who shot and killed him and stole cash from his victims is available to talk with authorities.
KRPC-TV reported that police on Sunday stated that an attorney representing the diner had contacted the department in order to arrange a time for him to come in to talk with investigators.
KHOU was told by Houston police that an armed man wearing a mask entered Ranchito Taqueria at South Gessner just before 11:11 p.m. on Thursday. He demanded money from customers and took their wallets.
Surveillance video shows the crook moving from table to table, taking cash. Two customers tried to hide under a table during the robbery.
However, seconds later, one customer sat to the side and pulled out a gun, and shot at the robber as he walked past.
KHOU stated in its broadcast that it had frozen the surveillance footage before shots could be fired, but that the entire video shows the robber getting shot multiple times. KPRC’s video report stated that nine shots were fired.
Here is the surveillance video
KPRC was also told by police that the customer who shot and robbed the robber took the money out of the bank and gave it back to the other customers.
KPRC stated that the customer could actually be heard saying “Come get your money!”
KPRC said that KPRC also recorded the customer pointing out the fake gun and throwing it against the wall. KHOU was told by investigators that the gun used to rob the victim is a plastic pistol.
Finally, the customer entered the door and dumped a drink on the robber on the ground. The customer then walked out.
KHOU stated that the people inside the restaurant left before the police arrived. He also said that there were no injuries to customers or staff.
KHOU was told by police that the suspect in the robbery is being sought for questioning. However, he isn’t yet identified and has not been charged. He was also captured on surveillance cameras by police:
UPDATE: Surveillance photos of the male (and his vehicle) wanted for questioning in this fatal shooting of a robbery suspect last night (Jan. 5).
Know the man’s ID? Call HPD Homicide 713-308-3600. He is not charged at this time.
— Houston Police (@houstonpolice) January 6, 2023
Thomas Nixon, a former Houston officer, and lawyer told KPRC that the person he shot was committing robbery. Therefore, his use of force to defend himself and innocent parties in Texas is perfectly justified. He was in reasonable fear of serious bodily injury or death.
Nixon stated to KPRC, that the video proves the shooting was legal.
He also stated to KPRC that while it is a justified homicide, the grand jury in Harris County will want to know the identities of all those involved so they can investigate.
Carmen Roe, KHOU’s legal analyst, said that the shooting appeared to have been in self-defense. However, she understood why the police want to speak to the customer who shot off the robber.
Roe stated that one of the reasons law enforcement seeks out this person is to determine if he was in danger for his life or that of those around him. This is essential to a claim of self-defense under the law. “If you feel justified in firing the first shot, you can continue to fire until the threat ceases.”
Roe said to KHOU that it didn’t matter if the gun used in the robbery was fake, because the threat of it being real was real. “Everybody in that place clearly believed that it was a real firearm.”
Another concern has been that the customer left the scene without talking to the police, but Roe noted to the station that the customer wasn’t legally obligated to do so.
Roe stated that it was important to be available to answer questions. Roe stated, “It’s something I would have advised him as a lawyer to do, but at the exact same time, you don’t have to remain on the scene in a situation like this.”
KHOU said that the restaurant’s owner and staff are calling the customer a “hero”. Numerous comments left by Houston police reflect the “hero” sentiment.