Deputy fatally shoots man at gas station in NW Harris Co.

April 29, 2013 10:29:06 AM PDT
A robbery suspect was shot and killed by a Harris County deputy after trying to hold up a convenience store. The robbery led to a brief standoff with deputies at the northwest side store and now the big question is if the suspect did in fact have a weapon.

The Stripes gas station off Highway 249 remained partially closed Monday morning. Regular customers were driving by to check on the employees.

At 1:30am Monday, a tow truck driver noticed a grey Volkswagen parked on the outskirts of the gas station. He called it in as a traffic hazard.

Deputy James Strech came over to check on the vehicle. He parked in front of the convenience store and walked into a robbery in progress.

Investigators tell us the suspect had one female clerk in a choke hold, and threatened to kill her. Deputy Strech demanded the man release the woman and the suspect refused, reportedly throwing a bag of money at Deputy Strech.

When asked to show his hands, investigators say the suspect instead moved his hands like he was reaching toward his back. Deputy Strech fired one shot, killing the suspect.

Regular customer Jose Marquez said, "That's probably the reason the cop did what he had to do. He's trying to save her, trying to save himself too at the same time."

"It's just so horrible," said regular customer Cynthia Beal. "That could be my daughter working there, that could be me working there, and for somebody just to come put their hands on her, trying to make a living for her and her family."

Deputy James Strech has been with the Harris County Sheriff's Office since 2000 and is assigned to the patrol division. No one else was hurt in this incident. Investigators have not said if the suspect had a weapon.
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