Owner of north Houston convenience store uses deadly force on longtime customer

February 10, 2012 10:00:51 AM PST
A store owner who says he was just protecting his north Houston business shot and killed a suspected thief overnight. That owner claims he had no other option but to use deadly force.

Tamika Hall came back to the New Land convenience store on West Little York near Andy Street, where her brother, the accused robber, was shot and killed. Hall says she needed answers.

"He didn't have to shoot him like that when he was behind the glass," she said.

But according to police, Hall's brother, 33-year-old Terrance Hall, showed up at the convenience store last night. Store owner Thom Vu says Hall was trying to shove his way through a back room.

Police say when Hall couldn't get inside, he climbed on top of an ATM and then jumped over the bullet-proof Plexiglas, falling behind the counter.

Witnesses say the scared store owner repeatedly told Hall to stop, but when he walked toward him, he says he fired.

"When he stood up, I just didn't have any choice," said Vu. "I was scared, too."

According to police, those who witnessed the shooting say Vu did everything possible not to shoot the suspect, who was also a longtime customer.

Halls sister admits her brother struggled with mental health issues. She says now she only wishes she had had been at this convenience store last night.

"I could have gone there to get him," she said. "If I was there, this would have never happened."

Authorities say Hall didn't have any weapons on him. The store clerk was taken to the police department for questioning. This case will be referred to a Harris County grand jury.

According to a source close to the investigation, Hall was shot in the arm at another location, but may have died from another medical complication.