Surveillance camera footage at a Texas convenience store captured a gruesome scene Saturday night as a clerk fatally shot a man who he alleges was trying to steal a pack of cigarettes.
According to Houston police, the incident occurred around 8:30 p.m. Saturday at a Sunny’s Food Mart location in southwest Houston.
Police say a man in his 40s walked into the convenience store and demanded he be given a pack of cigarettes “on credit.” Store officials told police that another clerk had done this for the man before, but the clerk who was working that night refused.
As captured on the store’s security camera, the man then walked behind the counter and began grabbing at the cigarette packages. Seconds later, the clerk fires three shots from his pistol at point-blank range, fatally striking the man.
“He went behind the counter and when I saw him, the cashier grabbed the gun, cocked it, pow pow pow three times. That’s when the guy fell,” witness Michael Labome told KHOU News in Houston.
“In that moment, I wasn’t really thinking about nothing but getting the hell out of there, but my cripple self couldn’t get out, [I] had to hold the door to help the customers out.”
Police happened to be in the vicinity investigating another shooting that weekend, and were able to quickly respond.
The man was rushed to a nearby hospital but later died of his wounds. Police are not releasing his name at this time.
Another store employee who did not wish to be identified told KTRK News that the passage behind the counter where the clerk was working is small and narrow, and the clerk may have had good reason to fear for his safety if he felt he was being cornered.
Houston police say they questioned the clerk at length, and it is now in the hands of a grand jury to determine if charges will be laid.