Dollar General manager shoots robbery suspect, who died soon after in Texas crash involving bus

ByMycah Hatfield KTRK logo
Thursday, December 21, 2023
Robbery suspect dies after crashing into METRO bus, deputies say
A robbery suspect died after crashing into a METRO bus near Ella and Airtex Boulevard, prompting road closures in north Harris County, deputies say.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas -- A suspected robber is dead after a series of events that began at a Dollar General and ended with the suspect crashing into a bus Wednesday afternoon in Texas.

ABC Houston affiliate KTRK heard chatter regarding the crash at about 1:30 p.m., when deputies said they were responding to a wreck involving a METRO bus.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office told KTRK that an aggravated robbery happened nearby, and led to a vehicle striking a METRO bus.

Deputies said an armed man allegedly robbed a Dollar General Store in Houston, and the manager shot the suspect. The suspect then took off in a vehicle and hit a METRO bus about a block away, according to the sheriff's office.

METRO said there were six passengers and the driver aboard the bus during the crash. Officials said no one on the bus was seriously injured.

KTRK's helicopter was above the scene, where a child could be seen getting medical attention. Investigators didn't say whether the child was on the bus.

Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said the robbery suspect was taken to the hospital where he died.

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"It appears that the pistol (the suspect had) was actually an airsoft-type of pistol," Gonzalez said during a news conference. "They look very realistic, and at the time when someone is facing that at gunpoint, they don't know what kind of pistol that is."

Gonzalez said the suspect's vehicle is being investigated as well. Investigators believe the car might have been used in a separate store robbery, in the same general area, two days ago.

"We don't know yet if there are any links to the alleged robbery suspect in this case other than the vehicle possibly being used in that. We don't know if the plate associated with this vehicle is the actual plate; it may be a stolen plate. So again, that'll be a part of our investigation," Gonzalez said.

According to Gonzalez, the area is known to be a high-crime spot in Harris County, and they're trying different strategies, such as being focused on targeted enforcement.

Major J. Nanny, who oversees the patrol area, said the sheriff's office has been working with federal, state and other local partners for about two months to provide more patrolling and more intelligence.

"It appears to be working," Nanny said. "It's still underway, but we have made progress."