Customers stop shooter at Ra Sushi restaurant in Highland Village, police say

Police say the suspect is a 24-year-old man who was already wanted on another charge before he was taken into custody.

Wednesday, March 16, 2022
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Two of the customers, who are trained in mixed martial arts, actually ran toward the shooter after he fired, which likely saved lives, police say.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Some quick-thinking customers took down a man with a gun at RA Sushi in Highland Village late Monday night, police said. One day later, there weren't any visible signs from outside the restaurant that it was the scene of a shooting.

According to the Houston Police Department, 24-year-old Jesus Samaniego fired a single shot into the ceiling shortly before 11:30 p.m.

When officers arrived, Samaniego was already in custody, but not by authorities. He was being held by customers.

"I saw him aiming it at the ceiling," says the man who initially stopped Samaniego after the shot was fired. "I just reacted."

That man, who wishes to remain anonymous, quickly jumped into action as the incident unfolded.

"I tackled him to the ground," he said. "I kind of kneeled him in the wrist so he couldn't use his hands."

Other diners rushed in to keep Samaniego contained.

"If it wasn't for the quick thinking of a good Samaritan taking the gun away, who knows what would have happened," said HPD Sgt. Ricardo Salas.

According to Salas, 40-50 people were inside the restaurant at the time of the incident.

"We were eating, and the next thing you know, a gunshot just popped off. So everything paused, and then everybody started running to get down under a table," said Patrick Robinson, one of the people who helped stop the accused shooter.

Robinson and his friend ran toward the armed suspect, who had fired the shot in the bar area.

As for the man who initially tackled Samaniego, he was joined by a friend who also wishes to remain anonymous. They say they've eaten at RA Sushi for years but never expected an incident like the one they witnessed Monday night.

"I'm definitely afraid," she said. "It could have been so much worse."

Samaniego, who was already wanted for a misdemeanor, is currently in jail and faces two charges stemming from Monday's shooting.

He was on the docket in Harris County Probable Cause Court Tuesday afternoon, but he never actually made it in front of the judge. He was described as combative.

If he's calm enough to appear, Samaniego is due back in court Wednesday morning.

ABC13 reached out to RA Sushi for a statement, but we have not received a response.