A customer fatally shot a robber in the head after he held up a Texas restaurant with a fake gun – and police are now searching for the vigilante who helped get the stolen money back to the patrons.
The robber, believed to be in his 20s, entered Ranchito #4 Taqueria in southwest Houston on Thursday night wearing a black ski mask and gloves before ambushing 10 customers and demanding their money at gunpoint.
Footage shows the shouting man wave what is believed to be a pistol around the restaurant, while customers drop to the ground and hand over their belongings.
But as the man headed towards the door, one of the patrons – described by police as either white or Hispanic – produced his own gun and shot the robber.
He fired nine times – one of which was in the head – causing him to collapse to the ground. The customer, wearing a grey t-shirt and jeans, then collected the stolen money and cellphones and started handing it back to the people they were taken from.
‘The shooter collected the stolen money from the suspect and returned the money to other patrons. He and other patrons (victims) then fled the scene.’
A couple of notes. First, nobody knew that the bad guy had a toy gun until after the fact. Play stupid games. Win stupid prizes. Second, I’ve watched the video (follow the link) and it is not clear that the bad guy is heading for the door. He was pointing that direction, but he had also been roving the small restaurant during the commission of the crime. There is not any indication that he was done.
Notice how the media includes those points of interest as key elements of the story as if to portray the shooting as inappropriate. They try to paint the impression of, “down-on-his-luck guy is killed even though he only had a toy gun and was leaving, thus no threat to anyone”
But… this is Texas:
Former Houston police officer, now lawyer, Thomas Nixon said: ‘The person he shot was in the process of committing robbery and consequently his use of force in defense of himself and innocent third parties is completely justified in Texas.
‘He was reasonably in fear of serious bodily injury or death.’
Nathan Beedle with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office believes that the shooting was justified, adding: ‘I can point you exactly where it is in the law, 9.31 and 9.32 of the penal code.
‘Whether someone uses deadly force in the situation, that is presumed to be correct under Texas law.’