The unidentified man went into Carter’s Country guns and ammunition store in southwest Houston around 3 p.m. with what police described as a “bladed object” and began stealing from the cash register, authorities said. A store employee confronted him and shot at him twice, police said.
“Once he went there [the gun shop], he actually went behind the counter [and] started ruffling through the cash register,” HPD Lt. Larry Crowson said, according to Click2Houston.com. “He was confronted by one of the employees, at that point, one of the employees felt in fear of their safety and fired two shots, at least one struck.”
The employee who shot the suspect told police they feared for their life. Police did not further describe the deadly confrontation.
The suspect fled, leaving a trail of blood before collapsing in the parking lot outside. When police arrived, they found him and took him to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Neither the dead man nor the store employee who shot him was identified. Police said the incident was captured on surveillance video, but did not release it amid the investigation.
Witnesses told police the suspect had tried to shoplift from a clothing store next door before going into the gun store.
“The guy looked like he was a homeless person,” Marcus Fomby, who saw the suspect inside Suit Mart before the shooting, told Click2Houston. “Basically, they told him to just let go of the jeans or we’ll call the police.”
Carter’s Country Outdoor Stores is a family-run chain of four retail stores and a shooting range established in the 1960s in Houston. The company also offers commercial guided hunting trips in Texas and Colorado, according to its website.
In 2016, Carter’s Country was the scene of a brazen, early dawn heist in which thieves stole more than 50 weapons. Surveillance footage showed the thieves backing a black Ford F-250 pickup truck up to the store and attaching chains to the door and the rear of the truck to rip the door off its hinges. They then ransacked the store, smashing display cases and and stealing rifles and handguns. Police busted the ring within days.