Man Who Shot and Killed Houston Taqueria Armed Robber Will Not Face Prosecution

Almost exactly a year ago, an armed man walked into a Houston taqueria, brandished a gun and began collecting valuables from the customers who were eating their dinner at the time. Security video clearly captured what happened next.

The holdup man turned his back to a customer he didn’t realize was armed.


After shooting 30-year-old Eric Eugene Washington, the armed man returned the valuables to the other diners. Washington died of his wounds.

As we noted at the time, it’s not only rude, but downright dangerous to disturb a Texan while he’s eating tacos.

After the shooting and release of the graphic video, community organizer types called for the armed customer — who they called a vigilante — to be charged. Today, however, comes news that a Houston Grand Jury has taken a different view of what happened. The armed diner won’t face charges.

As KHOU reports . . .

According to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, “grand juries are composed of 12 randomly selected residents who meet regularly for a period of three months to review all criminal charges to decide whether there is enough evidence for a case to proceed. If nine or more grand jurors agree that probable cause exists, they issue a “true bill,” or indictment, and the case continues on through the criminal justice system. If nine or more grand jurors determine probable cause does not exist, they may issue a “no bill,” effectively clearing the individual of criminal wrongdoing. The final decision as to whether to indict rests with grand jurors, not with prosecutors.”

So in this case, at least four of the grand jurors who examined the evidence decided the shooting was justified.

“This process ensures that members of the community, rather than the District Attorney’s Office, determine the appropriate outcome in all homicides in Harris County,” the DA’s office said.

That certainly removes some prosecutorial discretion that, in many big blue cities, tends to tilt against lawfully armed individuals.

Yes, Washington’s back was turned toward the armed diner when he shot and killed him. But as the video clearly shows, Washington had been walking around the restaurant, waving the gun around, clearly threatening everyone who was there at the time.

The armed customer shouldn’t have had to wait until Washington was turned toward him — and presented an even greater threat — before choosing to defend himself against the possibility of death or grievous bodily harm.

All in all, we’d say the criminal justice system got it right. You?

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