The video shows what happened as patrons left the restaurant after the burglar was shot dead.
HOUSTON. A new video shows moments after a buyer shot and killed a burglar in a taqueria in southwest Houston last week.
In the video you can see how the customers felt when they left the restaurant last Thursday. The customer who shot the robber is also seen getting into the truck and leaving the restaurant.
The incident took place shortly before 11:30 p.m. Thursday at Tuckeria Ranch on S. Gessner near Bellaire Boulevard.
Police said an armed man wearing a mask entered the restaurant and demanded money and wallets from customers. As he was leaving, one of the clients pulled out a gun and shot the suspect several times.
After the shooting, the same buyer took the stolen money from the robber and returned it to other patrons, police said.
According to authorities, the rest of the people in the restaurant left the scene before police arrived.
Police later said the burglar did not have a real weapon.
“The suspect in the robbery … entered the store wearing a mask and gloves,” Police Lieutenant Wilkens said. “He had a plastic gun, maybe an airsoft gun, or maybe a small BB gun.”
No one else in the restaurant was hurt.
Wanted for interrogation
Since this happened, HPD police have been looking for the man who was seen on video footage shooting the robber, later identified by HPD investigators as 30-year-old Eric Eugene Washington.
After the shooting, the customer left the scene. The authorities immediately said they wanted to talk to him to get his point of view.
On Sunday, a lawyer who claims to represent a client said his client had contacted HPD and said he was ready to talk. On Monday, the man spoke with investigators. Authorities said the 46-year-old man was questioned by homicide detectives. He has not been arrested or charged and his name has not been released.
HPD said the case will go to a grand jury to determine if the allegations are justified.
The police also hope to question all the patrons who were at the restaurant that night. Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call Houston police.
Restaurant hit again
The restaurant owner said the attention the deadly shooting had attracted did not deter criminals from attacking his business.
Early on Tuesday morning, the restaurant was broken into and three video poker machines were taken. The owner shared the observation with HOW 11 News of the incident.
The owner said he has owned the restaurant for 28 years.
Crime history of Washington
According to court records, this was not Washington’s first robbery.
In 2013, he and others were charged with capital murder after a man was killed during an armed robbery, according to prosecutors. The charge was later changed to aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon and Washington was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison.
It is unclear exactly when he was released, but he was last arrested on December 16, when authorities said he pushed his girlfriend to the ground and scratched her. Washington was charged with petty domestic violence and released on bail.
Was the shooting justified?
KHOU legal analyst Carmen Rowe said the shooting appears to have been in self-defense, but understands why police wanted to talk to the shooter.
“One of the reasons law enforcement is looking for this man is to find out if he feared for his life or the lives of those around him, because that is absolutely necessary for a self-defense claim under the law,” Rowe said. . “If you have the right to fire the first bullet, you have the right to keep firing until the deadly threat is gone.”
Nathan Beadle works for the Harris County District Attorney’s office. He said that Texas law describes specific cases regarding robbery by threat or aggravated robbery when lethal force is considered justified.
“I can tell you exactly where it is in the law: 9.31 and 9.32 of the criminal code,” Beadle said. “If someone uses lethal force in a situation, it is considered proper under Texas law.”
Rowe said it didn’t matter if the gun used in the robbery was fake because the threat was real.
“Everyone in that restaurant clearly believed it was a real gun,” she said.
Defense attorney Nicole Debord Hochglaube said that if the shooting is justified under Texas law, it doesn’t matter how many bullets were fired.
“My conclusion is that the gentleman who unloaded the weapon was acting legally and it was his right to protect himself and the patrons in this restaurant,” Hochglaube said. “If you have the right to use deadly force in accordance with the law, you have the right to use deadly force until the threat is eliminated.”
Former Harris County District Attorney Joanne Musik said she also views the shooting as a means of self-defense.
“This is a man defending himself and others in a restaurant. People are tired of crime on the streets,” Musik said.