A trio of thugs picked a couple at random to try to rob outside a Houston theater. They did a really bad job of victim selection:

It happened just after midnight. Police say off-duty officer J. Johnson was taking his girlfriend to the movies. They were walking near the intersection of Weslayan and Portsmouth when Ruben Anthony Zelaya, 17, Macedonio Rivera, 18, and Luis Angel Aquino, 17, pulled up in a silver sedan. Police say Johnson, who was wearing plainclothes at the time, thought they were stopping to ask for directions.

“Instead the front passenger (Zelaya) produced a pistol, pointed it at the couple and demanded their belongings,” said HPD spokesman Kese Smith. “At that point Officer Johnson, fearing for his girlfriend’s safety as well as his own, drew his duty weapon firing more than once hitting the vehicle.”

The sedan sped off, and police recovered a handgun a short distance away.

“Shortly after the incident, the sedan arrived at Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital, where three individuals went inside, two of them seeking treatment for gunshot wounds,” Smith said.

Zelaya and Rivera were treated for non life-threatening gunshot wounds. Aquino was not struck.

All three were taken into custody and charged with aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon.

Fortunately, Officer Johnson and his girlfriend were uninjured, and while Zelaya and Rivera were only treated for relatively minor wounds, it’s unlike that they or Aquino will be causing anyone problems any time soon as they all face felony charges.