Charges against a customer who shot and killed a robber in a southwest Houston taqueria last week will be decided by a Texas grand jury.
Eric Eugene Washington, 30, passed away following several gunshot wounds from a customer. Later it came to light that he had a long record of offenses, the most recent of which was domestic abuse. He was also on parole f or aggravated assault with a deadly weapon,
An armed customer at Ranchito 4 Taqueria has been praised for using his pistol to stop a would-be robber who entered the joint, brandished a fake gun at the customers, and demanded money.
The 46-year-old customer, who has been characterized as white or Hispanic, hasn’t been named yet since, according to police, he’s not in custody. He is assisting detectives, according to the authorities.
The deceased robber was identified as 30-year-old Eric Eugene Washington on Monday by the medical examiner.
According to records, Washington has a long criminal history, which includes a recent misdemeanor domestic abuse case against his girlfriend from December 2022.
In accordance with court records, Washington served 15 years in prison for an aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon conviction; he was released on parole in 2021.
In 2015, Washington was found guilty of murdering 52-year-old Hamid Waraich, the proprietor of a Boost Mobile cell phone store who was shot dead in the rear during a robbery.
In connection with the crime, two other guys were accused. After spending six years, Washington was granted release in 2021.
Waraich had kids and a fiancée when he passed away. Sean Waraich, a son of the victim, referred to the murdered robber as “an evil criminal who took joy in harassing and robbing innocent families.”
He praised the taqueria vigilante as a “true hero” and said that by stopping the thief and defending the neighborhood from a dangerous offender, he “did the right thing.”
Another son of Hamid, Aman Waraich, stated: “If the person who stopped Eric was here ten years ago, maybe I’d still have my dad.”
A vigilante’s legal representative said the following:
“My client, who requests anonymity, was eating with a companion at El Ranchito Taqueria when, as can be seen on film, a robbery suspect entered the establishment and brandished a firearm while yelling “cash!” at my client and the other diners. My client took action to keep everyone in the restaurant safe out of concern for his life and the life of his friend.
When someone’s life or the life of another person is in grave danger, Texas law permits the use of deadly force.
According to experts, Texas law also specifies particular circumstances for aggravated robbery in which lethal action is wholly appropriate.
In this instance, the customer’s use of lethal force in self defense is permitted because the individual he shot was actively committing a “armed” robbery.
He would have also had a valid reason to fear the robber had a gun, which may have resulted in serious physical harm or death.
Charges of homicide may be defended with the defense. In Texas, it is acceptable to kill someone in self-defense if
1. You sincerely feel that you or another person is in imminent risk of suffering severe injuries or death.
2. When you employed deadly force, it was both necessary and proper.
In Texas, shootings are legal when they’re done for self-defense, other people’s safety, or to protect property. The client has met with investigators from HPD Homicide and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. He has every intention of continuing to assist with the investigation.
When the inquiry is finished, a Grand Jury will hear this matter. The Grand Jury will undoubtedly find that the shooting was lawful in Texas, in our opinion.
He does not take the taking of a human life lightly, and this event has been extremely traumatic for him. This weight will follow him for the rest of his life. He prefers to stay nameless because of this. We kindly request that the public and the media maintain his privacy in light of the extensive attention.
On surveillance footage, the would-be thief can be seen taking control of the taqueria and pointing what appears to be a gun at patrons as they remove cash from their wallets and deposit it on the tables and floor.
The vigilante customer started firing at close range right away, even approaching closer to the robbery suspect.
He looks to put the clients’ money back on the table before realizing the gun used by the fatally wounded robber wasn’t real and leading the other customers out of the store.
Sandra Guerra Thompson, a professor at the University of Houston Law Center, spoke to Eyewitness News about the incident, in particular the phony gun the criminal was in possession of.
Although it wasn’t a real gun, she continued, “I know there are a lot of questions about the use of a gun because it was used as a firearm and a person would reasonably believe they were facing an immediate threat of deadly force.”