Cheun-Wei Mah, 49, was shot and killed at the Mah Express on Griggs and Calhoun. His brother, 46-year-old Victor Mah, also was shot and transported to Ben Taub General Hospital for treatment.
According to HPD homicide investigators, the armed suspect walked into the front door and fired a warning shot into air before firing two more at the brothers, who co-own the restaurant. Authorities say Cheun-Wei Mah died trying to protect his brother. The suspect then stole cash, went to a nearby parking lot and fled south on Griggs in a newer model, white SUV.
That violent restaurant robbery happened just a couple of blocks from Oakton Place Community Center, where neighors are expected to gather for National Night Out to talk to one another and police about ways to crack down on crime.
The violent robbery and murder has neighbors in the area pretty shaken up right now. Neighbors like mary alvis who walks near the place every day.
"It's very distrubing, especially by me being a senior and I live alone, and it frightens me knowing that this is going on," neighbor Mary Alvis said.
Bam's Auto Express is just a few doors away. Its owner Bam Lewis says the robbery is shocking, but unfortunately, not surprising in this area.
"I know they got broken into, we get broken into. It's generally going around," Lewis said.
The Mah Express robbery and murder is the latest in a recent string of similar crimes at businesses in southeast Houston. The most recent year-to-date data from the two HPD patrol beats covering this area shows violent crime overall was up 15 percent from January to July compared to the same time last year.
Though murders are down 25 percent, the numbers show robberies here increased 25 percent. And there's been an 11 percent spike in aggravated assaults.
Neighbors say they are hoping to talk about solutions during National Night Out events across Harris County.
"It's a great loss, but at the same time, I can't say that police can be there every minute at every time of the day, but we do need a little bit more patrolling in this area," Lewis said.
Meanwhile, the suspect for the suspect in Monday's deadly robbery continues. He was described only as a black male wearing a Boston Celtics baseball cap.
Anyone with information in this case is urged to contact the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.
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