Vigilante Exonerated: Gunman Who Shot Robber Nine Times in Houston Restaurant Will Not Face Charges

HOUSTON, Texas – In January of last year, a 30-year-old thief, Eric Eugene Washington, was shot and killed by a customer while attempting to rob a restaurant. The shooter, a 46-year-old customer, fired nine shots at Washington, claiming he was protecting everyone in the restaurant. The incident took place at El Ranchito taqueria, where Washington entered while brandishing what appeared to be a gun, and began robbing the residents inside. Security footage from the event shows the customer shooting Washington as he attempted to flee the scene.

A Texas grand jury has decided not to file criminal charges against the shooter, stating that he was within his rights to take the shot under Texas’ self-defense laws. The decision was made after Washington’s extensive criminal history was revealed, including previous convictions for aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon and a parole release in 2021 for a conviction related to a fatal shooting during a robbery.

Despite criticism from Washington’s family, who argued that the customer should have stopped firing as soon as the threat was eliminated, the grand jury’s decision stands. The deceased thief’s mother expressed that while she understands her son’s wrongdoing, his repeated shooting after falling down emphasized an abuse of power.

The victim’s criminal background and the shooter’s actions have sparked debate over Texas’ permissive gun laws, under which residents and non-residents over the age of 21 are allowed to carry a handgun. However, the law does not apply to individuals with prior felony convictions, raising questions about the application of such laws in cases involving individuals with a history of violent crime.

In conclusion, the Texas vigilante who shot and killed a robber in a Houston restaurant in January last year will not face any criminal charges, as the grand jury decided that he was within his rights to act in self-defense and protect others in the restaurant. The decision has raised concerns and sparked debate about Texas’ permissive gun laws and their application in cases involving individuals with a history of violent crime.