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Armed diner shoots 2 gunmen robbing Texas restaurant, kills 1

A holstered handgun. (Al Behrman/TNS)
October 04, 2021

An armed citizen stopped two attempted robbers with handguns at a Texas restaurant Friday evening.

According to KFDM, the armed customer fatally shot one of the gunmen who was trying to rob Church’s Chicken in Port Arthur around 8:45 p.m. Friday.

Both attempted robbers fled the scene on foot after being shot, with one later dying in the hospital from his bullet wounds, police said.

“Several shots were fired and both suspects were struck,” the Port Arthur Police Department said in a press release. “The suspects fled the scene and were later located by police officers.” 

The second gunman was located at Normandy Apartments. He was transported to a nearby hospital and is expected to recover. No charges against the surviving burglar have been released.  

Officials said the armed customer remained at the scene where the individual was questioned by police before being released, Fox News reported. The incident is under investigation by the Port Arthur Police Criminal Investigations Division.

The incident comes just one month after Texas’ new permitless “constitutional carry” law went into effect. The law continues to face pushback from gun control activists, including Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, according to the Texas Tribune.

During a recent panel interview at the 2021 Texas Tribune Festival, Watts challenged the new law, claiming that Texas has high gun violence is due to the high rate of gun ownership. The panel’s moderator also noted that a recent poll showed “only about 36% [of Texans] supported the content of HB 1927.”

“There was a time when the American public, if not opposed, in a majority faction was very indifferent on civil rights,” said State Rep. James White, who co-authored the legislation. “Should that have played on [President Lyndon Johson’s] pursuit of civil rights? I say no.”

In June, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed HB 1927 into law, allowing all eligible Texan gunowners to carry handguns without a firearms license beginning Sept. 1.

Abbott’s signature came nearly three weeks after the Texas legislature passed the “constitutional carry” bill on May 27. The state House approved the final measure in an 82-62 vote, and the Senate approved it the same day with a 17-13 vote. The bill was sent to Abbott’s desk the next day.

The law enables eligible Texas residents – who are over age 21 and not overwise prohibited by state or federal law from possessing a gun – to carry a firearm, either openly or concealed, without needing a permit or training.