A man shot and killed a robbery suspect at a taqueria in Houston on Thursday before returning the stolen money to other patrons, according to authorities.
The incident happened at around 11:30 p.m. and was caught on surveillance video, which has been viewed online millions of times.
Witnesses told officers that a masked African American man wearing all black clothing, a black ski mask, and black gloves walked into the restaurant, pointing what appeared to be a firearm at customers while demanding their money, according to Houston police.
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
While this person was walking around the restaurant taking money from patrons, one customer sitting in a booth with another person quickly stood up as soon as the suspect passed by and pulled out a gun, as seen in the surveillance video.
Police said the armed patron shot the suspect multiple times before collecting the stolen money, which he then returned to the others. This individual and other patrons then left the scene, leaving the police to ask the public for help in identifying the shooter as he is wanted for questioning.
The Houston Police Department shared surveillance images of who they believe was the armed customer, described as a white or Hispanic man, as well as his 1970s or 1980s model pickup truck with no bed. No charges have been filed, police said in the Friday press release.
UPDATE: Surveillance photos of the male (and his vehicle) wanted for questioning in this fatal shooting of a robbery suspect last night (Jan. 5).
Know the man’s ID? Call HPD Homicide 713-308-3600. He is not charged at this time.
— Houston Police (@houstonpolice) January 6, 2023
Police said that responding officers found the robbery suspect shot multiple times, and paramedics pronounced him dead. The suspect is believed to be a man in his 20s, and his identity was pending verification by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences, per the police statement.
Houston police Lt. R. Wilkins said the now-dead suspect was brandishing “a plastic pistol possibly an aero soft or possibly a little BB pistol,” according to KHOU 11. No one else in the restaurant was injured, the news report noted.
Investigators encouraged the shooter and victims to contact the Houston Police Department Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 to provide statements.