DALLAS, TEXAS – An alleged robbery suspect was shot and killed by another man at a South Dallas gas station Tuesday evening. Officers responded to the Texaco in the 3300 block of South Haskell Avenue, near Dolphin Road.
Upon arrival, they located two men with apparent gunshot wounds. The men were transported to local hospitals for treatment of their wounds. Meanwhile, police interviewed a witness and reviewed surveillance video and evidence at the scene. Their preliminary investigation determined that the suspect approached the witness from the driver’s side of the vehicle and attempted to rob him. A passenger in the vehicle exchanged fire with the suspect, police said.
The suspect, identified as 48-year-old Demetrice Howard, succumbed to his injuries. The vehicle passenger, identified only as a 19-year-old, received treatment for a gunshot wound to the upper chest. He was reported to be in stable condition with injuries not thought to be life-threatening. Police plan to submit the case to the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office for a grand jury referral.
Intervening in a robbery as a third-party to protect and defend the intended victim is legal in Texas. On the surface, this case seems to be clear-cut and straightforward, with the passenger actually observing the attempted robbery first-hand, with a witness statement and video to corroborate his account of the incident. However, there are times when it is not only dangerous, but not advisable to involve oneself into an incident between an apparent aggressor and victim without full knowledge of the events leading up to the confrontation or threat.