HOUSTON — A customer at Ranchito Taqueria shot and killed a man who robbed the restaurant in southwest Houston late Thursday night, according to the Houston Police Department.
It happened just before 11:30 p.m. Thursday at the restaurant on S. Gessner near Bellaire Boulevard.
Houston police said the armed man in a mask came inside the restaurant, demanding money and wallets from customers. However, as he was leaving, one of those customers shot the suspect.
The incident was caught on surveillance video.
Houston police also released surveillance photos of the customer who shot the robber in the video. Investigators said he is wanted for questioning for his role in the shooting. He has not been identified and is not charged at this time.
A photo of his 1970s or 80s model pickup truck with no bed was also released
The shooter collected the stolen money from the robber and returned it to the other patrons, police said. Then the rest of the people in the restaurant left the scene before the police arrived.
No one else in the restaurant was injured. Investigators said the suspect ended up not having a real gun.
“The robbery suspect he came into the store and was wearing masks and gloves,” HPD Lt. Wilkens said. “He had a plastic pistol possibly an aero soft or possibly a little BB pistol.”
The surveillance video shows the shooting going down. It shows customers, witnesses, and the shooter leaving the scene right after the shooting.
Investigators are asking the shooter and the victims who left the scene to contact the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 to provide statements regarding the incident.
Was this shooting justified?
"I can point you exactly where it is in the law, 9.31 and 9.32 of the penal code," said Nathan Beedle with the Harris County District Attorney's Office.
Beedle says Texas law outlines specific instances pertaining to robbery by threat, or aggravated robbery, where deadly force is presumed justified.
"Whether someone uses deadly force in the situation, that is presumed to be correct under Texas law," Beedle said.