5 Men Attempt Gas Station Heist, Only 3 Escape
HOUSTON, TX — An attempted robbery by five men at a local Houston gas station was shut down in brutal fashion by an off-duty law enforcement officer who was looking out for his community, the Houston Chronicle reports.
No one was killed during the incident, partially thanks to the quick action and restraint of the officer.
As the Houston Chronicle reports:
The deputy was in uniform driving his personal vehicle home after his shift when he spotted four men in hoodies walking toward the gas station, Houston Police Department Assistant Chief Sheryl Victorian said. The fifth suspect was waiting in a white Chevrolet Trailblazer as a getaway driver, police later said.Houston Chronicle
“As he pulled up, two of the gentlemen ran out past his car back along the other side of the fence. He noticed they had weapons,” Victorian said, later adding that officers recovered at least one firearm from the scene.
“(Another suspect) had a bat,” she said.
Thinking this was suspicious, the deputy pulled into the gas station and watched the men as they went inside, Victorian said. He saw the convenience store clerk hold up his hands, indicating the men were inside robbing the store, she said.
As the four ran out of the store – cash and stolen cigarettes in hand – the deputy jumped out of his vehicle, drew his weapon, identified himself as a police officer and ordered the men to stop, Victorian said. One of the suspects, later identified as Villarreal, turned back toward the deputy, at which time the deputy shot him in the chest, Victorian said.
After striking Villarreal, the deputy detained Martinez as the other three suspects sped away, police said.
Villareal was rushed to Ben Taub Hospital in an unknown condition. He and Martinez are both facing an aggravated robbery charge for the holdup, punishable by up to 20 years in prison if they’re convicted.
It’s often stated that when you’re a police officer, firefighter, or paramedic, there’s really no such thing as being off-duty. I guess this is case in point.
It’s likely a matter of time before the two criminals apprehended surrender their friends, if they haven’t done so already. Thanks to the alertness of the off-duty officer, justice will be served.
Stay vigilant out there, folks.
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