A Customer Shoots and Kills an Armed Robber in Houston: When he demanded that the other diners hand over their money, an armed robber at a Houston restaurant was fatally shot by a customer, according to the authorities. Around 11:30 p.m. on Thursday, a masked suspect entered Ranchito Taqueria and demanded money and wallets from patrons before opening fire, according to the Houston Police Department.
Unsettling video of the incident showed horrified patrons hiding beneath tables while the thief, who was dressed all in black, marched about and took their possessions, some of which had been thrown on the floor. The video captures the moment a customer in a booth suddenly gets up and pulls a weapon on the suspect as he approaches the door to flee.
The robber is then shown falling to the ground after being shot four times in the back by the customer. Then, as seen on film, the customer shoots the thief once more from point-blank range while standing directly over him. According to authorities, the customer then took the suspect’s stolen money and gave it back to other customers before leaving the restaurant with other diners.
Paramedics pronounced the robbery suspect, who was only described as a male in his 20s, dead at the scene, according to authorities. Investigators are now requesting the public’s assistance in identifying the shooter because they “want to talk with the individual about his role in the shooting.” He hasn’t been put on trial for anything.
According to KHOU Legal Analyst Carmen Roe, “one of the reasons that law enforcement is looking for this person is to find out whether he was in fear for his life or the lives of the individuals around him because that’s extremely fundamental to a self-defense claim under the law.”
Roe stated that even if the suspect’s gun was a replica, the diners “obviously felt it was a genuine gun.” It looks to be an act of self-defense. If you were justified in firing the first shot, she continued, “you were justified in firing more shots until the lethal threat was gone.”
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“But at the same time, you have no responsibility to stay on the scene of a circumstance like that,” Roe said, adding that she would have urged the man to stay at the scene and respond to questioning from police there. Police were able to get surveillance film that depicts the gunman getting into his pickup truck, which is described as being from the 1970s or 1980s and without a bed, and driving away.