Mother takes bullet to save daughters during taco stand attempted robbery

Monday, October 19, 2015

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A Houston police spokesperson says a pair of taco truck robberies late Saturday night just off the Gulf Freeway are linked. Three people were shot in two separate incidents; all of them were working in the trucks and all of them women. They included a woman trying to shield her teenage daughters who were working with her.

On Monday we spoke to one of them, a 15-year-old high school student who said neither she nor her family wanted to be identified. Inside the family's home, her 37-year-old mother remains on bedrest, while her 17-year-old sister remains in the hospital.

She says the man who shot them ordered a quesadilla, then pointed the gun when the youngest daughter handed him the order through the food truck window.

"He didn't even give me time to give him the money," she said. "It's like he just wanted to shoot people."

The one shot that was fired struck the girl's mother, who covered her daughters so they wouldn't be hurt. In other words, she took the bullet, but it penetrated her lower back and thigh and struck her 17-year-old daughter. Her sister says doctors didn't remove the slug because it might damage an organ.

Within a couple of minutes, the two suspects were at another taco truck a couple of blocks down Winkler Drive, where another woman working inside a truck was shot. The robbers once more left without getting any cash.

For the only person unwounded in the robberies, the image of the man who shot her mom and sister remains so vivid she says that she welcomes a photo lineup.

She wonders if the truck will ever be back on Winkler, selling food late nights and into the morning to shift workers and people getting out of nearby clubs. But she says she has learned one thing: how deep love runs.

"I'm so proud of my mom," she said. "She was willing to die to protect her daughters. She's so brave."