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January 18, 2023

Not even one week after a robber was shot and killed by a customer in a Texas taqueria, another man broke into the same restaurant. And just like last week, it was caught on camera.

Surveillance video from Ranchito Taqueria in Southwest Houston shows a man forcibly opening the front door from the outside early Tuesday morning. An indoor camera shows him rummaging around, eventually taking three video poker machines, according to KHOU, the CBS affiliate in Houston.

Police on b&e
Tampa Police Department officers prepare to enter a home where a burglary suspect holed up after refusing to come out on July 13, 2012, in Tampa, Florida. A man in Houston reportedly broke into a taqueria Tuesday, January 10, 2023, where a robber was shot and killed just five days earlier.
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Here’s the angle from outside the restaurant.

Just a few days after a robber was shot and killed by a customer at a Taqueria in Houston, the same restaurant was broken into and robbed. The owner tells me he’s feeling helpless after his business has been targeted twice. We’ll have more on @KHOU

— Maria E. Aguilera (@maria_aguilera) January 10, 2023

This comes just five days after a robber entered the taqueria and waved around what appeared to be a real gun. He took money from customers and appeared headed toward the front door when a customer took out his own handgun, shot and killed the robber.

The robber who was killed was later identified as Eric Washington, who has a criminal record that includes aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon in 2013.

Here’s the 30-second clip from last week’s robbery and shooting, which ends as the customer pulls his handgun and aims it at Washington.

Houston Police Department said the customer who shot Washington went and retrieved the money that the robber had stolen and returned it to the customers before leaving the restaurant. Other patrons also left the restaurant before the police arrived, and no one else was injured during the incident.

Police searched for the gun-toting customer through the weekend and were finally able to question the 46-year-old man. They ultimately released him Monday after questioning.

Now the customer who shot Washington could face a grand jury to explain what happened.

Police said Washington was cloaked in “all black clothing, a black ski mask, and black gloves” and was brandishing a fake gun.

“He had a plastic pistol possibly an aero soft or possibly a little BB pistol,” HPD Lt. Wilkens said.

Nathan Beedle with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office said the shooting death could be justified.

“I can point you exactly where it is in the law, 9.31 and 9.32 of the penal code,” Beedle said on KHOU. “Whether someone uses deadly force in the situation, that is presumed to be correct under Texas law.”

One defense attorney said the shooting was justifiable and that it doesn’t matter how many rounds were fired.

“My takeaway is the gentleman who discharged the weapon was acting lawfully and it was his right to defend himself and the patrons in that restaurant,” defense attorney Nicole Deborde Hochglaube said. “Once you are entitled to use deadly force under the law, you’re entitled to use deadly force until the threat is over.”

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