After fatally shooting an armed robber, a ghostly hero returned all the victims’ belongings before mysteriously vanishing. Police have since announced what will happen to the vigilante phantom.
Houston police finally solved a mystery involving a terrifying armed robbery and the citizen who stopped it. The incident occurred at Ranchero Taqueria on South Gressner near Bellaire Boulevard just before midnight on a Thursday evening. Security footage captured a masked man, identified as 30-year-old Eric Eugene Washington, walking into the restaurant and confronting several customers, according to The Police Tribune.
“Witnesses told officers the suspect entered the restaurant and pointed a pistol at patrons as he demanded their money,” the HPD said.
When Washington drew his gun, customers raised their hands or hid under tables in fear of being shot. However, one patron sitting in a booth wasn’t willing to give in so easily.
As the suspect paced back and forth, demanding cash from the terrified victims, a 46-year-old customer, whose identity has been withheld, carried out a brilliant plan. Instead of handing the money to Washington, the customer tossed his wallet onto the floor, forcing the suspect to bend over and collect the goods. With Washington focused on the money, the customer pulled out his own weapon.
Surveillance footage shows the customer pulling out a firearm and shooting Washington multiple times as he strolled past the table. Washington didn’t even make it to the door before succumbing to his injuries. Police confirmed he died at the scene.
The unnamed customer immediately walked over to Washington, checking to see if he was still a threat. He then recovered the stolen goods and told everyone in the restaurant to “come, get your money.” To his horror, he discovered that the gun the suspect used to rob terrified victims was a fake.
The armed customer then “collected the stolen money from the suspect and returned the money to other patrons” before he and the other victims left the premises, according to police.
The heroic customer didn’t wait around for the police to arrive. After returning the stolen money, the man hopped into his old pickup truck and disappeared. Soon after the incident, the customer turned himself in to the Houston police for questioning and is fully cooperating with investigators.
“After consulting with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, it was determined the shooting will be referred to a grand jury,” the HPD said. “Since the male is not arrested or charged, his identity is not being released.”Advertisement
A grand jury will decide the fate of the mysterious customer who took down an armed robber. Witnesses have taken the customer’s side and believe he engaged in self-defense in fear for his life.
Eric Eugene Washington has an extensive criminal record including a 15-year prison sentence in connection with the shooting death of 62-year-old Hamid Waraich, the owner of a cell phone store. However, Washington was only convicted of aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon.
“Eric was an evil criminal that took joy in harassing and robbing innocent families. The individual at the taqueria is a true hero!” said Sean Waraich, the son of Hamid Waraich. “He did the right thing in stopping the robber and in protecting the community from a dangerous perpetrator.”
Eric Eugene Washington lived a life of crime and reaped the consequences. His final mistake was taking a fake gun to a real gunfight.
Far too often, criminals go free while law-abiding citizens are punished for protecting themselves and others. Hopefully, this won’t be the case and the grand jury will see the shooting as an example of self-defense.