Grand Jury: No Charges For Defensive Shooting In Houston Taqueria

by Tommy Grant

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About a year ago, a man in Houston made an extremely dumb decision: to pull out a realistic looking but fake gun and rob people eating at a local taco restaurant. He didn’t know that one of the diners had a pistol, and the moment he turned his back to threaten other diners, he got a severe case of sudden onset lead poisoning.

But, contrary to the advice of most instructors, the man kept shooting. And shooting. You can see the full video on Rumble here. This led to the usual “activists” and nonsense peddlers who wanted to make this a racial issue, claim it was “overkill”, try to bring up the feelings of the family members, etc.

The case was eventually submitted to a grand jury, who called for no charges against the man. So, the controversy over the number of shots and shooting after the robber was down, won’t be used against him in a trial, as there will be no criminal charges or a trial.

People Carrying Still Need To Be Careful

While things worked out in this case, there’s still a cautionary tale here.

I’m not at all saying that the man should have been charged, but the chances of going to trial and getting convicted definitely went up for him the longer he shot. Few would dispute that the initial shots were fully justified, and given all of the evidence that the grand jury considered, there must have been good justification for those final shots. It’s not entirely clear in the video, but the man could have been reaching for the gun or doing something else that made him a continuing deadly threat.

That having been said, if you carry for self-defense, don’t take the good outcome here as an invitation to fire extra rounds. Every case is different, and the totality of the circumstances in every case has to be considered. If circumstances differ for a future incident you might be involved in, even if the difference is very small, things could turn out very different for you.

For example, here’s a case that definitely went too far:

In 2009, two teenage criminals tried to hold up a pharmacy, but found to their horror that the pharmacist was armed. One of the pellets from the pharmacist’s Taurus Judge pistol struck one of the robbers in the head, knocking him unconscious but not killing him. The pharmacist ran down the street, shooting at the other robber and almost hitting some bystanders with his shotshell-loaded Judge.

When the other robber got away, he went back inside, stepped over the unconscious robber, and got another gun out. Then, he shot the robber six more times, killing him while he obviously presented no further threat. For this, pharmacist Jerome Ersland got life in prison, with no possibility of parole until he’s 98 years old.

But, not all cases are this clear cut. There’s big gray area between cases that are obvious self-defense and cases where someone clearly goes too far. You should definitely do whatever you need to do to defend against evil, but you also don’t want to live in that gray zone, where tiny details and guesswork can mean the difference between freedom and life behind bars.

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