HOUSTON - The customer who shot an armed masked robber last week at a Houston taqueria was questioned by police on Monday.
Now a grand jury will consider the case.
The deadly shooting happened around 11:30 p.m. on Jan. 6 at El Ranchito No. 4 off South Gessner Road near Bellaire Boulevard.
Police said while the armed robber was walking around taking money and wallets from customers, a 46-year-old customer pulled out a gun and shot him several times. The patron then collected the stolen money and gave it back to the customers. He and the other customers then left the restaurant.
Houston police Lt. R. Willkens has said that the alleged robber had what is believed to have been a “fake gun." The man who was fatally shot was identified as Eric Eugene Washington, 30, who was out on bond. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The customer, who was questioned by detectives and the Harris County District Attorney's Office on Monday, was not identified because he has not been arrested.
The customer's attorney sent a statement to KTRK:
My client, who wishes to remain anonymous, was dining with a friend at El Ranchito Taqueria and as it has been seen on video, a robbery suspect entered the restaurant, and pointed a weapon at my client and the other customers demanding money. In fear of his life and his friend's life my client acted to protect everyone in the restaurant.
In Texas, a shooting is justified in self-defense, defense of others and in defense of property. The customer has met with the Harris County District Attorney's Office and Investigators with HPD homicide. He fully intends to continue cooperating with the ongoing investigation.
When the investigation is complete, this case will be presented to a Grand Jury. We are confident that a Grand Jury will conclude that the shooting was justified under Texas Law. This event has been very traumatic, taking a human life is something he does not take lightly and will burden him for the rest of his life. For that reason, he wishes to remain anonymous. Due to the overwhelming coverage, we ask the media and the public to respect his privacy.
According to KTRK, Washington was released on parole in 2021 and charged with assaulting his girlfriend in December 2022.