Smoke shop manager says alleged attacker killed by employee trespassed in the past

New surveillance video shows the smoke shop employee walking to the ER next door while the intruder follows closely behind.

Chaz Miller Image
Friday, May 26, 2023
Manager believes intruder killed by employee was on 'suicide mission'
The store owner said the employee offered the man money or products to leave, but it didn't work. She believes the intruder, who got citation for trespassing there in the past, was

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- New video shows tense moments outside a smoke shop in northwest Harris County where an employee said he was forced to shoot and kill an intruder.

It all unfolded around 5 p.m. Thursday at Willowbrook Smoke Shop in the 5000 block of W. FM 1960, Harris County sheriff's deputies said.

The manager of the smoke shop told ABC13 they don't usually have issues aside from the occasional kid trying to shoplift, but certainly, nothing like they saw on Thursday.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Employee shoots, kills man who allegedly attacked him at NW Harris County smoke shop, HCSO says

The shooting may have stemmed from an altercation inside of the shop before it spilled out into the parking lot, Sheriff Ed Gonzalez tweeted.

Deputies said a man came inside the smoke shop and started attacking an employee, who was at the business by himself.

The employee then grabbed a stick to fight back and ran outside to the parking lot of an ER center next door, deputies said.

Surveillance video shows the intruder, dressed in black, following the employee, who has the stick in his hand. Deputies said the suspect caught up to the man, took the stick, and started beating the employee with it.

That's when the employee pulled out a handgun and shot the intruder multiple times, deputies said.

The alleged intruder was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Deputies said the employee suffered multiple injuries during the assault, including a broken hand.

Investigators said the intruder has gotten a citation for trespassing at the smoke shop in the past, but employees hadn't seen him in six or seven months. The manager told ABC13 the suspect gained entry this time by sneaking in behind another customer.

She believes the intruder was on a suicide mission. She said he knew the employee carried a gun and was completely uninterested in money or products from the store. In fact, she said the employee offered the man both to get him to go away, but it didn't work.

At this point, deputies said no charges are expected to be filed against the employee, but the case will be reviewed by a grand jury.

Investigators said the employee is cooperating and his version of events lines up with witnesses' statements and what is seen in surveillance video.

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