Armed Restaurant Customer Fatally Shoots Robber, Returns Stolen Money

A customer at a Houston restaurant who fatally shot an armed robber and returned stolen money to diners has reached out and is ready to talk to investigators.

The Houston Police Department reported that an attorney representing the Good Samaritan said their client wants to cooperate with law enforcement. Police had been searching for the armed citizen.

The incident occurred late Thursday night at Ranchito Taqueria near Bellaire Boulevard. Video showed an armed man wearing a mask and gloves entering the establishment and demanding wallets and money from the customers.

As he collected his bounty, a customer produced a pistol and shot him several times. The shooter then gathered the stolen belongings and returned them to the other diners.

Police reported that the customers, including the armed shooter, left the restaurant before they arrived. They then discovered that the armed robber’s weapon was not real. A police lieutenant said the criminal “had a plastic pistol, possibly an aero soft or possibly a little BB pistol.”

There were no other injuries reported, and no charges have been filed against the armed customer.

Fortunately for the customer, Texas law specifically designates situations such as robbery by threat, or aggravated robbery, where deadly force is justified. Even though the shooting appeared to be self-defense, police still wanted to talk to the shooter.

KHOU legal analyst Carmen Roe told the outlet that law enforcement wants to determine whether the armed customer was in fear of his life or the lives of those around him. This, Roe explained, is “absolutely essential to a self-defense claim under the law.”

The expert added that if the first bullet was fired due to this fear, every other shot until the “deadly threat is no longer there” was also justified.

The right to self-defense and protecting those around you is clearly enshrined in the Bill of Rights and the American legal system. It is always noteworthy when a good guy with a gun defends the innocent against criminals who would prey on the unarmed and defenseless.

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