Armed customer kills taco shop robber, returns money to patrons

Armed customer kills taco shop robber, returns money to patrons
concealed carry holster

Police in Houston, Texas say they’d like to talk to the man who shot and killed a robber at a taqueria on Thursday night, though they haven’t said whether or not he’s facing any charges.

It was just before 11:30 in the evening when a man wearing a mask and gloves and carrying what turned out to be a fake gun walked into The Ranchito #4 in the city’s southwest side, demanding money from the customers inside. As the man was leaving, however, one of the patrons drew a gun of his own, shooting and killing the suspect as he was walking towards the door.

The video above doesn’t show what happened next, but police say the man, along with the other customers, left the shop… though not empty-handed.

According to police, the suspect pointed a pistol at the customers. Police at the scene said that the gun may have been plastic, either airsoft or a BB gun, although the investigation was still being conducted.

The police department says the suspect collected money from patrons, and then one of the other customers took out his own gun and shot the suspect multiple times.

Police say the shooter then took the stolen money from the suspect and gave it back to the customers. He and the other patrons then left, officials say.

The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said the restaurant owner and workers were the only ones who remained at the scene.

It’s clear the robber intended for his victims to believe he had a real firearm, which means that the armed citizen in question had a legitimate fear of death or great bodily injury as long as the robber was waving his gun around. He might have been moving towards the door, but he also pointed his gun at the armed citizen’s head a split second before the gun owner drew his own pistol and fired.

This looks like a justifiable use of force to me, but I’m no attorney, and the armed citizen would be wise to both hire counsel and to have them present when he goes to give his statement to police, regardless of how clear-cut and defensible his actions may be under the law.

Overall, violent crime has thankfully been trending down in Houston over the past year. The city saw a decline of 40 homicides in 2022 compared to 2021; something that should be virtually impossible under the “more guns equals more crime” theory espoused by anti-2A activists, especially given that last year was the first full year that permitless carry was in effect. As it turns out, there are still plenty of people willing to break the law and victimize innocent people for a quick buck, but there are also more law-abiding citizens who are exercising their fundamental right to carry a firearm for self-defense, and the stats show that Houston is becoming a safer place.

That’s not entirely due to the expanded protections for the Second Amendment, of course, but I don’t think those effects are negligible either, and incidents like the robbery at The Ranchito #4 may very well prompt more Houstonians to decide its time they exercise their right to armed self-defense as well. Most of us will never be the victim of an armed robbery, but there are very few of us who truly want to be at the mercy of the armed robber if we do ever find ourselves in those terrible circumstances. The robber’s death might not be a wake-up call for many perpetrators of crime, but I hope it will be for all of us who could be chosen to be their next victim.