Texas Delivery Driver Says He Shot Robber in Self-Defense

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A man delivering a pizza to a Houston apartment complex says he was forced to draw his gun and pull the trigger when he was the target of two armed robbers early Sunday morning. 

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According to Houston police, the driver encountered two men, one armed with a gun, when he arrived at the Yellowstone Apartments around 12:40 Sunday morning. Fearing for his life, the driver shot one of the two men, sending the other fleeing. The driver remained at the scene and spoke to officers on scene. Authorities declined to arrest the driver, but say the case, like all other suspected defensive gun uses, will be referred to a grand jury for further investigation. 

"We're not sure how the pizza delivery went so wrong that somebody wound up getting shot," said HPD Sgt. Mark Holbrook. "But that is what we're investigating right now."

HPD couldn't confirm whether a gun was found on the man's body.

The brother of the man who was killed, Ameer White, identified him as 21-year-old Areyeh White. HPD would not confirm the identity of the man that had died.

White said the circumstances surrounding the shooting were odd.

"They say he was the pizza delivery guy, but we don't have a receipt that he was buying a pizza," Ameer said. "If you were the pizza delivery guy, why did you have a, why were you armed?"

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I'm not sure what White means about the lack of a receipt, but it will be easy for investigators to confirm that the driver was making a scheduled delivery to the apartment complex. As to White's question about why a driver would have a gun if they're delivering pizza, the answer is simple: delivery drivers are often the victims of armed robbers or carjackers. Just a few days before this incident, a DoorDash driver in Pennsylvania was forced to defend himself with his lawfully carried firearm when an 18-year-old allegedly robbed him at gunpoint.  

Now, it's possible that the driver's story won't check out, and there's more than meets the eye here. But if this was some sort of retaliatory shooting, why did the driver remain at the scene and speak to police? 

Houston Police Department spokesperson Shay Awosiyan told the Houston Chronicle that investigators don’t know if the two people who allegedly attempted to rob the pizza delivery driver were customers or residents of the apartment complex, but according to Ameer White his brother was a resident of the complex, though he was supposed to be at his girlfriend's apartment in the same complex when the shooting took place. 

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"It most definitely destroyed me," Ameer said. "Because he said he was going to be home in 30 minutes. I stayed up for him."

He said the two had lost their mother a few years ago.

"Honestly, only God got the last answer and I'm sure he'll figure it out for us," Ameer said. "Just trying to keep myself and my family strong."

Robberies don't take long to commit, so it's entirely possible that if White's brother was involved in a stick-up, he thought he would be back home just a few minutes later. 

I feel for White. At this point, however, police have said nothing to indicate this wasn't an armed robbery as the driver claims. We'll be keeping an eye out for any updates, but based on all the available information to date this looks like a justifiable use of force on the part of the driver.  

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