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Self-Defense Or Not? Police Question Houston Man Who Shot Taco Shop Robber

A Houston man might face charges for shooting a masked robber who held up a taco shop he was eating at on Thursday night. Surveillance videos show how the unidentified 46-year-old shot and killed the robber, Eric Eugene Washington, 30. While the man left the scene afterward, he is now in contact with police.

An armed robbery at a taco shop turned into a shooting

The robbery occurred at Houston’s Ranchito #4 Taqueria, where several people were dining at on Thursday night. Surveillance videos show how a masked robber dressed in black entered the scene holding up a gun. He stole money from the diners, going one by one. That’s when one customer in particular sprung to action.

Once the robber had turned around, presumably leaving the establishment, the 46-year-old diner shot him in the back several times. Videos show how the man continues to shoot the robber, even when already incapacitated on the floor. There were a total of nine shots.

At that point, the man gave the diners their money back, and realized something devastating: the robber’s gun was actually fake. Videos show how he throws the plastic gun to the wall, and leaves the taco shop.

The shooter is now in contact with authorities

The man’s attorney finally reached out to police on Sunday, and the man spoke to homicide detectives on Monday. Police explained that he has not been “arrested or charged,” so his identity has not been released.

However, the case will now be referred to the grand jury to decide if legal action is needed.

While some are citing the state’s self-defense laws, others question the “gray area” pertaining to how the man shot the robber once he seemed to be leaving. Another gray area? How he kept shooting the man even once he was on the floor.

Meanwhile, the taco shop owner Pedro López told Univision that he is “scared” something like this will happen again, and talked about how the shooter “defended his business.”

López also questions what will happen to the shooter now, and “hopes” the man won’t be charged.

Click2Houston reports that Washington was out on bond for assault of a family member, and was sentenced in 2015 to 15 years in prison for aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon. By 2021, he was on parole.

The customer’s lawyer released a statement that read, “In fear of his life and his friend’s life my client acted to protect everyone in the restaurant.”

He explained, “taking a human life is something he does not take lightly and will burden him for the rest of his life.”

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