10 customers were enjoying an evening meal at a Mexican restaurant in Texas when a robber intruded, asking for money at gunpoint. The robbery suspect entered the restaurant wearing a ski mask and took phones as well as wallets from the customers. The suspect was shot several times by an armed customer while walking out the door of the restaurant. He was pronounced dead on the scene by first responders. Police later discovered that the suspect was only armed with a plastic pistol. A total of nine shots can be heard on the surveillance video.
“The shooter collected the stolen money from the suspect and returned the money to other patrons. He and other patrons (victims) then fled the scene.” – Houston Police
Initially, the Houston police were seeking the public’s help in identifying the man in the video. However, Houston PD recently announced they have spoken to the 46-year-old man.
“After consulting with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, it was determined the shooting will be referred to a grand jury,” a HPD statement reads. “Since the male is not arrested or charged, his identity is not being released.”
The robbery suspect identified
According to local news, 30-year-old Eric Eugene Washington was identified as the robbery suspect who was killed. Washington was convicted, and sentenced to 15 years in prison in connection to the shooting death of 62-year-old during a failed robbery. The victim, Hamid Waraich, owned a cell phone store that Washington, and two other men, robbed in 2015.
Washington was granted parole in 2021, but was subsequently arrested on charges of abusing his girlfriend in December, 2022. Washington was out on bond during the failed heist of the Taqueria.
The attorney of the armed customer recently sent ABC13 Eyewitness News the following statement:
“My client, who wishes to remain anonymous, was dining with a friend at El Ranchito Taqueria and as it has been seen on video, a robbery suspect entered the restaurant, and pointed a weapon at my client and the other customers demanding money. In fear of his life and his friend’s life my client acted to protect everyone in the restaurant.
In Texas, a shooting is justified in self-defense, defense of others and in defense of property. The customer has met with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office and Investigators with HPD homicide. He fully intends to continue cooperating with the ongoing investigation.
When the investigation is complete, this case will be presented to a Grand Jury. We are confident that a Grand Jury will conclude that the shooting was justified under Texas Law. This event has been very traumatic, taking a human life is something he does not take lightly and will burden him for the rest of his life. For that reason, he wishes to remain anonymous. Due to the overwhelming coverage, we ask the media and the public to respect his privacy.”