Man shot during attempted robbery as he returns home from work

August 7, 2012 2:38:19 PM PDT
We've learned that a man who was shot during an attempted robbery as he returned home from work is a father of five and a chef at a popular restaurant. Authorities say he's the latest victim in a series of violent robberies in northwest Harris County.

The victim was ambushed overnight at his apartment complex on Bammel North Houston near Veterans Memorial. We were asked to leave the property, but just beyond the apartment's front gates is the business office and that is where police say the victim was shot.

"It's scary, believe me," said resident Pauline Morgan.

For the first time in six years, Morgan says she doesn't feel safe in her own apartment.

"I did hear the shot this morning, but I thought it was just a noise," she said.

Just before 3am Tuesday, Harris County Sheriff's Office deputies say Jose Soto was returning home from working the night shift at Pappadeaux restaurant when three suspects held him at gunpoint, demanding money.

"Shots were fired, the victim was shot. He was able to get the gun away from them," said Sgt. Robert Schields with HCSO.

Deputies say the suspects were not able to take any money.

The suspects got away. Deputies say Soto, bleeding from a shot to the abdomen, stumbled to his apartment and yelled for his wife to call 911. Investigators say Soto didn't recognize the gunmen, but authorities recognize the account.

"We have reports in this area of the same suspects," said Sgt. Schields.

The trio is already on law enforcement's radar. In several other cases in northwest Harris County, the same three suspects have beaten their targets before robbing them.

"We do need more. There's not hardly any security," said Shyjuana Anderson.

Which is why Pauline Morgan had words of advice for her godson when he left for work Tuesday morning.

"I said, 'Matthew, be careful when you come home at night,'" said Morgan.

Soto, 48, is in critical condition at Ben Taub Hospital.

No one has been arrested in this case. Police are looking for three suspects -- two Hispanic men accompanied by a heavy-set black man. Deputies believe they are familiar with this area.

If you have any information in this case, you are asked to call Crime Stoppers or the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

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