Grand jury to decide whether Houston taqueria vigilante will be charged for fatally shooting robber

The customer shot the robber nine times

Taco shop customer fatally shoots armed robber, returns money to fellow victims before fleeing scene, police say

HOUSTON – Houston police have identified and questioned a man who fatally shot a robber at a Houston taqueria last week and say the case will be referred to a grand jury.

Police did not release the man’s name but did say he was 46 years old.

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The deceased suspected robber has been identified as Eric Eugene Washington, 30.

The incident happened on Jan. 5 at a restaurant in the 6800 block of South Gessner Road.

Police said at about 11:30 p.m., Washington entered the restaurant wearing all-black clothing, a black ski mask and gloves. He pointed a pistol at customers and demanded their money.

According to KPRC, his weapon was later found to be a fake, plastic gun.

As the suspect collected money from the people in the restaurant, a man pulled out his gun and shot Washington nine times. He then collected the stolen money from Washington and returned it to the customers in the restaurant.

The shooter and the other customers left the scene before officers arrived.

Houston police released images of the man and his truck in hopes of learning his identity.

According to KPRC, the man was questioned by homicide detectives after his attorney reached out to investigators on Sunday. He has not been charged with a crime.

The customer’s attorney, Juan L. Guerra Jr., released the following statement Monday:

“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, 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.”

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About the Author

Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 25 years. She came to KSAT as a news producer in 2000. After producing thousands of newscasts, she transitioned to the digital team in 2015. She writes on a wide variety of topics from breaking news to trending stories and manages KSAT’s daily digital content strategy.

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