An unnamed 46-year-old Texas man has been questioned by Houston police today for allegedly shooting and killing a robbery suspect last week at a restaurant in southwest Houston.
“After consulting with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, it was determined the shooting will be referred to a grand jury,” Houston PD said in a news release. “Since the male is not arrested or charged, his identity is not being released.”
On Friday, Houston Police Department asked for the public’s help in identifying the shooter who was wanted for questioning. They released surveillance photos of the man, along with his pickup truck, on social media.
On Thursday, police were called to a shooting at the El Ranchito #4 Tacqueria at approximately 11:30 p.m. When they arrived, they found the suspect “shot multiple times inside the business,” according to police.
The suspect, who has been identified as Eric Washington, 30, was dressed in all black clothing, a black ski mask, and black gloves, authorities said. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.
Witnesses told the police that the suspect entered the restaurant and began robbing the customers at gunpoint.
“As the suspect collected money from patrons, one of them produced a gun of his own and shot the suspect multiple times,” the release said. “The shooter collected the stolen money from the suspect and returned the money to other patrons.”
The weapon recovered from the suspect was not a real gun.
“The robbery suspect … came into the store and was wearing masks and gloves,” HPD Lt. R. Wilkens told local KHOU News. “He had a plastic pistol, possibly an aero soft or possibly a little BB pistol.”
Police said the shooter left the scene before they arrived.
“He and other patrons (victims) then fled the scene,” police said.
A man claiming to be an attorney representing the shooter contacted Houston police and arranged a meeting on Monday.
No other injuries occurred during the incident.
Texas Penal Code
Nathan Beedle of the Harris County District Attorney’s office told KHOU that Texas State Penal Code states specific cases when deadly force may be justifiable.
“I can point you exactly where it is the law: 9.31 and 9.32 of the penal code,” Beedle said. “Whether someone uses deadly force in the situation, that is presumed to be correct under Texas law.”
Texas Penal Code, Sec. 9.31 states: “[A] person is justified in using force against another when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect the actor against the other’s use or attempted use of unlawful force. The actor’s belief that the force was immediately necessary as described by this subsection is presumed to be if the actor: … (C) was committing or attempting to commit aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery.”
Sec. 9.32 states: “A person is justified in using deadly force against another: … (B) to prevent other’s imminent commission of aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery.”