That man, according to prosecutors, is 39-year-old Anthony Ray Ferrell who has been charged with capital murder, accused of shooting and killing 24-year-old Sam Irick, who was trying to intervene in an armed robbery at a Meyerland gas station last week. Ferrell was arrested Sunday night at a nightclub on Old Spanish Trail.
Ferrell, who is in jail without bail, appeared in court this morning. He has a criminal record that includes burglary and robbery charges. A Crime Stoppers tip helped authorities catch Ferrell, who was identified through surveillance video and witnesses.
A mother of three was standing in line at a Chevron station at the West Loop early Thursday when police say Ferrell approached, demanded her purse and put a gun up to her body. As Irick attempted to help her, police say Ferrell shot him fatally in the chest.
Irick's parents say the heroic act was typical of their son.
"Samuel was just -- even if somebody just needed help at work or do a job at home, he would just go and do it," said Irick's stepfather, Lawrence Wood.
Customers at the Chevron station expressed relief that the suspect has been caught, and appreciation for Irick's actions.
"I think he's a heroic young man," said customer William Flaherty. "We need more people like that to step up so we can get a handle on crime overall. And I feel very good the Houston Police Department got him so quickly and arrested him. I feel very good about both things. It's a tragedy the young man died for his heroic actions."
"That's the true definition of a hero," said Dr. Jeb Wait, the robbery victim's husband. "He gave his life for someone he didn't know, had never seen and had never met."
Irick is being laid to rest today. He had been a student at Houston Community College and wanted to be an architect.
Ferrell has a lengthy criminal history. He is being held in the Harris County Jail without bond. He makes his second court appearance on Tuesday.