HOUSTON – Police were looking for two suspects Friday after a Family Dollar clerk was shot during a robbery Thursday night.
The 26-year-old victim died at the scene.
"It’s something real, real sad," said Jose Balderas, a customer. "I don’t know why they did it. But they were wrong."
Police said the masked suspects entered the store at Bellfort and Bullfinch around 10 p.m. Investigators believe they waited until closing time to make their move.
As the suspects approached the clerk and demanded money, one of two customers in the store tried to leave, but realized the suspects had locked the door.
Then, another customer, who was armed and had a concealed handgun license, pulled out his weapon and exchanged gunfire with the suspects.
The clerk was fatally shot during that exchange. Police have not yet determined whose bullet killed her.
The suspects fled the scene in the customers’ car.
The vehicle, which is a rental, is described as a 2012 tan Toyota Camry with Louisiana plates N238302.
Another Family Dollar employee was also inside at the time of the robbery, but they were not hurt.
Customers who came to the store Friday and found it closed expressed sadness when they learned of what happened there.
"I feel terrible. Nobody deserves to lose a life over somebody taking something from them," Family Dollar shopper Louisa Quiones said.
"Everybody got to make a living. That’s no reason to kill somebody over money. That’s not right – not right at all," shopper Elizabeth Quiones said.
The store has a surveillance system, but police said the suspects’ masks prevented them from making any sort of identification.
The victim’s identity was being withheld, pending notification of family members.
Anyone with information on this case is urged to contact HPD Homicide at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-8477.