[Guest post by DRJ]
Once is a fluke.
Twice could be coincidence.
But three times suggests a pattern:
“The owner of a small Texas City mom-and-pop grocery store shot and killed a gunmen during a robbery Friday night, authorities said.
A man, whose identity was not available, entered Jones Grocery in the 600 block of 9th Street North around 8:30 p.m. dressed in black and armed with a shotgun, Texas City Police Department Captain Brian Goetschius said. An employee outside smoking a cigarette was able to alert store owner Joe Kainer Jr. before being ordered away by the gunman, Goetschius said.
The gunman entered the store and demanded money at Kainer’s back counter, police said. After putting the cash in a bag, he demanded more money from the front register. At the front counter, Kainer was able to pull his gun out, police said.
“As (the gunman) was opening the door to leave, which is within arm’s length of the counter, still in possession of the shotgun and money, he was shot,” Goetschius said.
[T]he robber was pronounced dead on the scene.”
Authorities believe the owner acted within his rights under Texas law and do not plan to file charges.
I suspect many Houston-area robbers and burglars are thinking seriously about a career change.
UPDATE 1 – 12/15/2007: Here’s number four. The Houston Chronicle published this report regarding a botched robbery at a Houston grocery store that killed 68-year-old Janette Dominguez, “who was caught in the crossfire Friday night between the would-be robbers and the store’s security guard.” A 27-year-old man believed to be one of the gunmen also died from a gunshot and the store security guard was seriously wounded:
“At the Fiesta at Fulton and Patton, two men — one armed with a shotgun and the other with a handgun — entered the store about 9 p.m. Friday, said Sgt. Robert Odom with the Houston Police Department’s homicide unit. Wearing hoods and ski masks, the gunmen threatened a male employee to try to gain access to the store’s courtesy area. “They apparently walked in and grabbed the nearest employee and demanded to be let into the courtesy booth,” Odom said.
The armed security guard was taking a break in the coffee shop near the back of the store when he heard the disturbance and went to investigate, Odom said. When one of the suspects saw the security guard come around the corner, he opened fire, said Odom, noting that the guard’s uniform closely resembles an HPD uniform.
The gunmen and security guard exchanged gunfire. Dominguez, who was waiting to check out in the first express lane near the entrance, got caught in the crossfire, authorities said.
“There was a bottle of cold medicine still sitting there,” Odom said.”
How very sad, especially in the death of Ms. Dominguez. It will be interesting to see if this case changes public opinion regarding the use of deadly force in a robbery.
UPDATE 2 – 12/16/2007: The bullet that killed Ms. Dominguez did not come from the security guard’s gun:
“Janette Dominguez, 68, was buying cold medicine at the supermarket in the 4100 block of Fulton about 8:45 p.m. when she was caught up in the crossfire between the robbers and a security guard, police said. She later died at Ben Taub General Hospital. Police said an autopsy report showed that the bullet that struck Dominguez did not come from the security guard’s gun.”
This is small comfort for Ms. Dominguez’ family but I’m sure it matters to the security guard.