Deputies: Washateria robbery suspect dead in car, others on run


A Harris County Sheriff's deputy initially noticed a suspicious vehicle at about 4:30pm and tried to pull it over in the area of Bodart and Ella Boulevard. As the vehicle came to a stop after a brief pursuit, two men jumped out and took off running.

Police spent Tuesday night investigating a robbery scene at a washateria in the 7000 block of North Shepherd Drive. They believe the same suspects robbed the washateria, exchanged gunfire with the owner, then drove north, eventually shutting down a quiet neighborhood.

Residents resumed their normal evening activities even as officers searched vehicles and investigators crowded around a blood-splattered car. The turn signal on a light-blue Dodge was still blinking. Inside, there was a dead man in the back seat and two others who had been in the car were on the run.

Zachary Rivera lives next door.

"Pretty creepy. You think you live in a quiet, safe neighborhood and stuff like this happens," Rivera said.

According to the Harris County Sheriff's Office, a patrol deputy cited suspicious activity -- perhaps the blood or bullet holes in the hood -- when pulling over the car in the Ponderosa Forest subdivision Tuesday afternoon.

As the deputy confronted those inside, across the street neighbor Richard White became concerned.

"The officer was arguing with one guy on the driver's side of the car, and the other had just run off and so I just picked up my phone and called 911 because he was all alone," White said.

Somehow a second suspect got away leaving only the dead man in the back seat.

Houston police believe they are all tied to an earlier armed robbery at a north Houston washateria. They tell us the owner did fire back.

On Tuesday night, officers were reviewing surveillance video at the neighboring convenience store as the search for the two who fled continued in northwest Harris County.

And Rivera made sure his four-year-old nephew didn't step outside.

"Keeping him inside so he doesn't really know what's going on, just watching cartoons," Rivera said.

The Dodge car does not belong to anyone in the Ponderosa neighborhood.

The search for the suspects is ongoing.

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