HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A Houston family believes crooks tried to carjack them outside a taco truck for their wheel rims, known as 'swangas.'
That's the street term for wire spokes attached to car wheels. They can retail for thousands of dollars.
The mother and father opened up to Eyewitness News about the violent attack. It happened just before 7 p.m. outside the Taqueria Mexico stand, off Airline Drive near Parker Road on the city's north side.
The couple had their four young children with them at the time, ages 3 to 8. They asked we not identify them out of safety concern.
"My daughter had told me, 'Mom, I thought he was going to kill daddy,' My daughter said that. My 8-year-old," said the mother. "Oh my gosh. It was horrible. You know he had the gun to my husband's head. It felt like a nightmare. I'm like I can't believe this is happening."
The father said he went and placed an order. As he returned with the tacos, a gunman showed up and pulled at his door. The gunman demanded the family get out of the vehicle. The father said he resisted at first. Mom said she frantically pulled the kids to safety.
While she did that, the father reached for his own gun.
"I always carry a weapon in the cars," said the father. "As I started walking back, he jumps in the car. So when he jumped in the car, I went around the back of the car. I pulled the gun out. I loaded it. I put my hands inside the car and shot him."
The father told ABC13 he believes he struck the suspect in the hand. The gunman dropped his weapon and fled with another suspect.
Houston police said they are investigating the case and are now looking for at least three young men in their late teens to early 20s.
The mother said both men she saw appeared to be Latino. She described the first suspect as thin build with a thin mustache and about 5 feet 6 inches tall. She said he couldn't have been older than 20.
She said the other man appeared to be in his early 20s with a fade. He was about 5 feet 7 inches tall with a medium build.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-8477.