Taco Store Customer Shoots Armed Thief, Returns Money to Other Victims, Police Say: According to investigators, a man who shot and killed a robber inside a taco eatery in southwest Houston late on Thursday is wanted for questioning by Houston police. Around 11 p.m., police responded to reports of a shooting at Ranchito #4 Taqueria, which is located in the 6900 block of South Gessner Road.
According to Lt. R. Wilkens of the HPD, a masked man brandished what was allegedly a “plastic gun” at diners inside the establishment and demanded their wallets and cash. Customers were seen tossing cash to the ground on surveillance footage as the robber approached them one by one while brandishing what seemed to be a gun.
The footage depicts the man getting up from his seat, pulling a gun, and shooting the thief multiple times after he walked past him while he was seated in one of the booths. At the scene, the thief passed away.
According to Thomas Nixon, a former HPD officer who is now a lawyer, “The guy he shot was in the act of committing robbery and consequently, his use of force in defense of himself and innocent third parties is permissible in Texas.” “He was realistically afraid of death or serious bodily harm.”
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Without testimony or knowledge of the shooter’s identity, Nixon claimed that the footage can be used to determine if the shooting was lawful. The grand jury in Harris County would want to know all parties engaged in the homicide so that they can investigate, he said, adding that it was a justified homicide.
According to the police, the shooter found the stolen money in the robber’s pocket and gave it back to other customers. On security footage, the shooter was heard saying, “Come grab your money.” Before the arrival of the police, he and the other patrons left the site.
The shooter’s patron is currently seeking to be questioned about what transpired. Nixon stated that since the shooter did not commit a crime, he was under no obligation to remain at the site and provide an explanation. According to Texas law, just two crimes—both involving auto accidents—require someone to remain on the scene.
In the hopes that someone may be able to recognize the customer, surveillance photographs have been made public. No complaints have been made. Except for the owners and employees, everyone has left the store, according to Lt. Wilkens.
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It would be wonderful if they returned to the scene and spoke with us, or if they called HPD Homicide. They must provide us with their statements, especially the shooter who fled after the attack. Please contact the HPD Homicide Unit at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS if you have any information about this case.