HARRIS COUNTY A Harris County Sheriff s deputy shot and killed a robber who was choking and threatening to kill a convenience store clerk Monday, officials said.

The shooting happened around 1:45 a.m. inside the Stripes store located on Highway 249 and Upland Willow Avenue. Harris County Sheriff Deputy James Stretch noticed a Volkswagen parked in a turning lane and went looking for its driver inside the Stripes store nearby.

Stretch walked in to find a man behind the counter with his hands around a female clerk s throat, deputies said. The man was threatening to kill the woman, investigators said. They said Stretch twice yelled at the man to stop him. Instead, investigators said the man threw a bag of money and then reached into his pocket. That is when Stretch pulled out his gun and fired once. The man died behind the counter.

I told the main manager just two weeks ago, because I almost got hit by a truck, that they need security in this store, said Jeannette Hennig, a regular customer. I just came by and I saw (the detectives) so I knew something had happened because I work at Kroger and our bank has been robbed four times.

Henning said she stops at the store every morning. She buys coffee and talks with Stripes employees.

Stretch is a patrol officer who has been with the department since 2000.

Had (he) not come by it might have ended a different way, said Deputy Thomas Gilliland, public information officer for the Harris County Sheriff s Office.

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