The defensive gun use captured on security video when a Houston taqueria customer shot an armed robber last week has sparked debate about how justified all of the shots directed at the crook were and what the armed defender’s fate might be. The thief, Eric Eugene Washington, 30, was killed in the shooting.
Unwilling to make the call herself by charging or clearing the armed customer, Houston District Attorney Kim Ogg has decided to entrust the fate of the unnamed man to a grand jury.
Given that District Attorney Ogg was heavily backed by George Soros in her last election, that may have been the best possible outcome for the armed customer.
The customer immediately removed the thief’s gun and returned all of the cash and valuables that Washington had stolen at gunpoint. After leaving the restaurant, the unidentified 46-year-old taco enthusiast did the wise thing and hired an attorney before turning himself into the police.
The defender’s attorney issued the following statement to KTRK in Houston.
My client, who wishes to remain anonymous, was dining with a friend at El Ranchito Taqueria and as it has been seen on video, a robbery suspect entered the restaurant, and pointed a weapon at my client and the other customers demanding money. In fear of his life and his friend’s life my client acted to protect everyone in the restaurant.
In Texas, a shooting is justified in self-defense, defense of others and in defense of property. The customer has met with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office and Investigators with HPD homicide. He fully intends to continue cooperating with the ongoing investigation.
When the investigation is complete, this case will be presented to a Grand Jury. We are confident that a Grand Jury will conclude that the shooting was justified under Texas Law. This event has been very traumatic, taking a human life is something he does not take lightly and will burden him for the rest of his life. For that reason, he wishes to remain anonymous. Due to the overwhelming coverage, we ask the media and the public to respect his privacy.
It may come as no surprise that the late Mr. Washington was no stranger to the Houston criminal justice system, having a history of infractions including the 2015 murder of a cell phone store owner.
Records show Washington had an extensive criminal history and was out on bond during the would-be robbery.
Records show that in 2015, Washington was convicted on a lesser charge of aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon and sentenced to 15 years in prison in connection to the shooting death of 62-year-old Hamid Waraich, a cell phone store owner. Houston police also charged two other men.
According to records, Washington was released on parole in 2021 and charged with assaulting his girlfriend in December 2022.
Waraich had a fiancée and three sons who reacted strongly when contacted by ABC13.
“If the guy who stopped Eric was around 10 years ago, maybe I’d still have my dad,” Aman Waraich, the son of the store clerk that was killed, said.
All of this appears to be part of Rethinking Criminal justice. In practice, this entails allowing known repeat offenders — including violent felons like Eric Washington — to be released from prison early and walk the streets, committing more violent crimes and victimizing law-abiding citizens.
The more “progressive” prosecutors fail to charge, prosecute, and convict violent felons who go on to prey on the rest of society, the more law-abiding citizens will feel compelled to defend themselves from the violent recidivists the system refuses to deal with. What happened in that Houston taqueria is a clear example of what “restorative justice” will increasingly produce.
“Eric was an evil criminal that took joy in harassing and robbing innocent families. The individual at the taqueria is a true hero!” Sean Waraich, the victim’s other son, added. “He did the right thing in stopping the robber and in protecting the community from a dangerous perpetrator.”
One thing is certain. Eric Washington’s days as a serial offender are over. The question now is whether the criminal justice system will give those who defend themselves against the Eric Washingtons’ of the world the same breaks that violent offenders do.