Vigilante Cleared of Charges After Fatally Shooting Restaurant Robber in Houston

Houston, Texas – A grand jury in Texas has decided not to file any criminal charges against a customer who shot and killed a would-be robber in a Houston restaurant. The incident occurred in January of last year when 30-year-old Eric Eugene Washington attempted to rob the El Ranchito taqueria and was shot nine times by a customer.

According to reports, the shooter, a 46-year-old man, claimed he was ‘protecting everyone’ in the restaurant when he opened fire, with one of the bullets striking Washington in the head. The grand jury’s decision means that the shooter will not face legal consequences for his actions.

The security footage from the event shows Washington entering the restaurant while apparently brandishing a gun, later discovered to be plastic, and robbing the residents inside. As he tried to flee, the customer shot him multiple times, leading to Washington’s death.

The shooter’s attorney stated that his client was within his rights under Texas self-defense laws to take the action he did, emphasizing that a shooting can be justified in self-defense, defense of others, and defense of property.

Washington, who had a lengthy criminal history including a previous conviction for aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon, was on bond for domestic violence at the time of the incident. Court documents revealed that he had spent six years in jail for aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon and was released on parole in 2021.

The decision of the grand jury has ignited a debate about self-defense laws and the use of firearms in Texas, a state known for its permissive gun laws. However, the specific circumstances of this case have not been a focus of the discussion.

In the end, the grand jury’s decision not to charge the shooter in the fatal incident at the taqueria stands, affirming his actions under the state’s laws. This case highlights the complex and divisive nature of self-defense laws, particularly in states with liberal gun policies like Texas.