Surveillance video captured the moment a shoplifter was fatally shot by a patron at a Houston restaurant Thursday night. A clip obtained by KHOU 11 showed a customer at Ranchito Taqueria in southwest Houston fatally shooting a man who was robbing the restaurant on Thursday, January 5, 2023.
Surveillance video shows the robber, wearing a mask and hoodie, who has not yet been identified, pointing a gun at customers seated in the restaurant as he strips them of his belongings. The customer, who has his back to the surveillance camera, slowly bends down and pulls out a gun while the robber is busy robbing other customers in the establishment.
CAUGHT ON VIDEO: A customer at a taqueria shot and killed a robber at the restaurant on S. Gessner in southwest Houston, police said.
— KHOU 11 News Houston (@KHOU) January 6, 2023
Soon after, the client waits for the robber to turn around before shooting him in the back.
According to KHOU, the customer who shot the robber allegedly returned the stolen money to the other restaurant customers before leaving the premises without waiting for the police to arrive at the scene.
Houston police in search of a client who shot the robber
Houston police are now searching for the customer who shot the robber, believed to be in his 20s. Authorities released surveillance photos of the customer, identified as Hispanic, who shot the masked robber after he entered the restaurant, demanding money and wallets from people.
In a news release, Houston police said the customer who shot the robber is wanted for questioning and noted that no charges have been filed against him. The statement said:
“Surveillance photos of the man and his vehicle, a 1970s or 1980s model pickup truck with no bed, are attached to this press release. Investigators want to talk to the man about his role in the shooting. No charges have been filed.”
“Investigators are asking the shooter and the victims who left the scene to contact the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 to provide statements regarding the incident.”
Houston robber carried a fake gun while robbing customers
Authorities said the robber did not have an actual weapon at the time of the incident, but instead was aiming it with “a plastic pistol, possibly a smooth streamlined pistol or possibly a small BB pistol.”
Authorities said no one else was injured at the scene. They added that the thief will be identified after verification by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.
Authorities have asked the shooter and other witnesses at the scene to contact police and provide a statement about the incident.