Texas police are searching for a vigilante diner who shot dead a suspected robber carrying a fake gun in a Houston taqueria restaurant, then helped diners recover the money and disappeared.
The incident, which was captured by surveillance video inside the Ranchito #4 Taqueria in south-west Houston, shows the man drawing a weapon and killing the robbery suspect by shooting him multiple times, including in the back and head.
The robber’s weapon was later revealed by police to be a “plastic gun”, either an air-soft or BB gun.
Houston police say charges have not been filed against the man, described as a white or Hispanic male, but they want to speak to him about “his role in the shooting”, according to a press release.
Lt R Willkens with the Houston police department said the robbery suspect was in his 20s, wearing a black ski mask and black gloves, when he entered the restaurant and pointed a weapon at customers and demanded their wallets and money.
During the incident, the vigilante diner can be seen reaching for something, then drawing his weapon as the suspect walked by heading for the exit. Houston police said the man, described as driving a “1970s or ’80s model pickup truck”, fired at least nine shots at the suspect.
He then collected up and returned the stolen money to diners before leaving the scene before police arrived.
Other customers in the taqueria also left the scene before police arrived. Pedro Lopez, owner of the taqueria, said he and his employees are still in shock.
“Everyone has left the store except the owners and workers of the store,” Willkens said. “It would be great if they would come back to the scene and talk to us or call HPD homicide. They need to give us their statements especially the individual who did the shooting and left.”
Texas’s stand your ground statutes allow for someone to defend themselves if they feel their life is in danger, though the line between what constitutes self-defense and unnecessary force can be fine.
Thomas Nixon, a former Houston police officer and now lawyer told KPRC-TV that the customer was within his rights under Texas law.
“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”, Nixon said. “He was reasonably in fear of serious bodily injury or death”.
EXEXEN on January 8th, 2023 at 21:42 UTC »
There is no place to be that is more dangerous than Texas when you’re holding a fake gun to rob people. Even in my home state, you go in a restaurant or bar and pull a gun, you probably will learn other people in there have guns too.
Game_Knight_DnD on January 8th, 2023 at 18:36 UTC »
He has since talked to the police with an attorney, pretty sure, saw it on the new last night.
kingdazy on January 8th, 2023 at 18:26 UTC »
Is there full video that does not stop at "the moment"?