Veteran interrupts store robbery, kills attacker
A man shot and killed a suspected armed robber Thursday during a gun battle in a northeast Harris County shopping center parking lot.
The 28-year-old man, a former Marine, was eating lunch about 12:30 p.m. when he saw two suspicious men outside a Game Stop store along Wallisville near the East Sam Houston Tollway, authorities said.
"He saw them get out of their car and slip bandanas over their faces," said Deputy Thomas Gilliland with the Harris County Sheriff's Office.
The veteran, who has not been identified, saw the men open the trunk of their car then dash inside the store. Minutes later, one ran out carrying several video game systems in his arms.
The other suspected robber remained in the store and was demanding cash from customers, deputies said.
The veteran, who has a concealed handgun license, went to his pickup truck and pulled out a semi-automatic pistol then told a bystander to call 911, deputies said.
He took cover behind his pickup truck as the two men left the store. Deputies said one of the men then pointed a pistol at him.
"At that point, the veteran raised his gun and fired," Gilliland said.
Deputies said about 10 rounds were fired during the gunfight.
The suspected armed robber was struck by gunfire but managed to get inside the car, an older model Toyota Corolla, where he died.
"The second suspect just threw everything down and ran," Gilliland said.
He was soon captured outside a nearby fast-food restaurant, deputies said.
No other injuries were reported.
"There were a lot of shaken-up patrons and store employees, of course," Gilliland said.
Some of the buildings in the shopping center were hit by stray rounds, deputies said.
Officials will present the case to the Harris County grand jury, recommending no charges be filed, authorities said.