HOUSTON – A restaurant customer in Houston fatally shot an armed robbery suspect and returned money to other patrons before leaving the scene. Now law enforcement authorities are looking to question the man who was seen on surveillance video taking action against the suspect involved in the crime at a Houston taqueria.
Houston police officers responded to a shooting at the Ranchito #4 Taqueria in the 6900 block of South Gessner Road around 11 p.m. on Thursday. A masked man with what is now believed to be a replica firearm pointed it at customers who were eating inside the restaurant and demanded their wallets and money, according to Lt. R. Willkens, KPRC-TV reported.
Surveillance video showed patrons throwing cash to the floor as the menacing robber walked to each customer one by one, brandishing what appeared to be an authentic weapon.
As the suspect walked past a man sitting in one of the booths, the video shows him get up from his seat, draw a pistol and shoot the robber several times. The perpetrator died at the scene.
“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,” said former HPD officer, now lawyer, Thomas Nixon. “He was reasonably in fear of serious bodily injury or death.”
Nixon said the video helps discern that self-defense was justified even in the absence of a statement.
“It is a justifiable homicide, but the grand jury in Harris County is going to want to know all parties involved in the homicide so that they can investigate,” he said.
Police confirmed the customer who took action against the suspect recovered the stolen money from the robber’s pocket and returned it to other patrons.
“Come get your money,” the man said, according to surveillance video.
The shooting customer as well as other patrons did not remain at the scene prior to officers arrival, KPRC-TV reported.
Now, Houston police are seeking the public’s help to find the man who took action against the robbery suspect.
HPD said charges have not been filed against the man who left the scene, but police want to speak to him about “his role in the shooting,” according to a Friday press release.
Police said the masked robbery suspect was in his 20s. Video clearly shows him entering the restaurant and pointing his weapon at patrons and demanding their money.
As the suspect was gathering cash from customers, the armed patron can be seen standing up as the suspect walks by him and firing his gun at the suspect multiple times, Fox News reported.
The armed customer is described by HPD as a white or Hispanic male. He discharged at least nine rounds at the suspect, including one to the perpetrator’s head after he fell to the ground.
Police released a picture of the armed customer’s vehicle, which is described as a “1970s or ’80s model pickup truck with no bed.”
A spokesperson for HPD told Fox News Digital that the armed customer has not yet been contacted as of Saturday afternoon.