HOUSTON — A 19-year-old convenience store clerk shot and killed an unarmed beer thief in southeast Houston early Friday, according to Houston police.
It happened at the Lone Star grocery and gas station on Elgin at Ennis around 1 a.m.
Police said the 52-year-old suspect came to the store constantly and was a brazen shoplifter.
"The one guy come here every day and he steals a 12-pack and 20-pack every day," said M. D. Zaman, another store employee.
This time, when he allegedly grabbed a 12-pack of Bud Light and walked out, the clerk grabbed his gun and followed.
Outside the store, the clerk opened fire and shot the suspect an unknown number of times. The suspect collapsed in the grass and died at the scene.
Some regular customers feel the clerk went too far.
"I think that’s messed up. It’s wrong," said Nikki Herring. "If he was just stealing beer, then he should have locked the door and called police, not shoot him. It’s not worth getting shot over some beer."
Linda Jackson agreed.
"I think it was unjust, even though it was wrong for him (the suspect) to do that," Jackson said.
The store is equipped with surveillance cameras on the inside and outside. The entire incident was recorded and is being reviewed by police.
Under Texas law, you can use deadly force to protect yourself or your property if a crime is being committed and you’re in "fresh pursuit."
The case is being referred to the grand jury without charges.