Texas

Activists demand that man who killed Houston taqueria robber be charged

The client who shot and killed a masked robber in a southwest Houston taqueria earlier this month has been hailed as a hero by many online. However, not everyone in the Houston community thinks so. A group of local activists are now calling for the 46-year-old shooter, who was not named by police, to be prosecuted, believing the shooting went beyond self-defense and was a “cold-blooded execution.”

Over the weekend, a group that included members of the Texas Coalition of Black Democrats, Rainbow, PUSH Coalition, and New Black Panther Nation gathered outside of Rachito Taqueria, where the shooting took place on Jan. 5, to call for a trial. Action against the shooter. They clarified that they did not condone the actions of the robber, who was later identified as 30-year-old Eric Eugene Washington, but said he deserved to be punished and sent to prison, not killed.

The Good Samaritan was within the law when he fired the first shots,” Quanell X, leader of the New Black Panther Nation in Houston, told reporters at a news conference on Sunday. “But we believe he has gone from a law-abiding citizen to a delinquent.”


Several witnesses confirmed that after the first shots, Washington’s gun slipped out of his body, Quanell X said. “He stood over the young man and shot him several times when he no longer posed a threat,” he said. “He takes the young man’s gun, returns to the counter with it, and as he leaves, shoots him in the head. Then he leaves and doesn’t call 911. He doesn’t wait for the police. He’s leaving the area.”

the shooter received similar criticism online after surveillance video from the restaurant surfaced, showing him continuing to fire on Washington even after he moved longer. “I think he should be charged with something,” Quanell X said, adding that he was not sure what the charge should be. “We cannot have a society in which our citizens are judges, juries and executioners.”



Investigators from the Houston Police Department also found that Washington, who died at the scene, did not have a real weapon. “He had a plastic pistol, possibly an airsoft gun, or possibly a small BB pistol,” HPD Lieutenant R. Wilkens said. The shooter was not arrested or charged. Once the HPD has completed its investigation, the case will go to a grand jury.

Last week, Juan L. Guerra Jr., the lawyer representing the shooter, released a statement on behalf of his client saying that his actions were justified and that he thinks the grand jury will take it the same way. “Fearing for his life and the life of his friend, my client acted to protect everyone in the restaurant,” Guerra said, adding that the event was very traumatic for the man. “Taking a human life is something he doesn’t take lightly and it will burden him for the rest of his life. For this reason, he wishes to remain anonymous.”

Quanell X is concerned about the message a grand jury will send to gun owners if the shooter is not charged. “This will open the doors in Harris County for some wild stuff,” he said. “People will say, ‘You didn’t blame him, how can you blame me?’





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