DQ manager relives terrifying robbery

October 2, 2009 4:10:06 PM PDT
A robbery suspect was shot and killed by a deputy who happened to be eating in the restaurant at the time. Now we're hearing from a woman who is grateful to that deputy for ending that terrifying experience.Investigators believe the two men who stormed through the doors of the Dairy Queen on FM 1960 at Jones Road in northwest Harris County Thursday night were caught off guard. They didn't realize an off-duty deputy had just happened to sit down for dinner with his family.

Dairy Queen manager Linda Neel is back at work less than 24 hours after she was held hostage inside the restaurant.

"I just tried to stay calm," she recalled. "I couldn't believe it was happening. He just ran up on me so fast."

Neel says a robber with a handkerchief over his face pushed a gun into her side, ordering her to empty one register and then move toward a second. But just as suddenly, Neel says an off-duty Waller County deputy appeared with his gun drawn.

She said, "He was right there on the spot and told the guy to freeze."

Chief Deputy Craig Davis had reportedly been eating dinner at the restaurant with his young daughter. As she ran to the bathroom for safety with other customers and employees, her father caught the suspected robber off-guard, allowing Neel to slip free and run for the door.

"I just heard shots fired, a bunch of shots fired," Neel recalled.

Harris County Sheriff's deputies say shots fired by Chief Deputy Davis killed the intruder and shattered the restaurant's front window. However, none of the customers or employees, including Neel's 17-year-old daughter Christy, who was also working that night, were injured. For that, Neel says she is grateful, regretting only that she didn't get to tell Chief Davis herself.

"I would tell him thank you very much," she said. "He did a good job. I'm glad he was there. Thank you for saving us."

Neel said there were four customers in the restaurant at the time, and at least three other employees besides herself. A second robber was also spotted leaving the restaurant. Harris County deputies describe him as a black male between the ages of 15 and 18 years old. He was wearing blue jeans, a camouflage t-shirt and a bandana. If you have any information about the suspect, you're asked to call the sheriff's department.

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