Image by Houston PD. via Twitter.
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Things went poorly for four aspiring armed criminals in Houston. Four yoots piled out of a car and attempted an armed robbery at a Valero gas station. At some point in the would be holdup, a customer drew his own gun and fired on the bandits. The good guy’s shots put such a spring in the step of the robbers that one ran right out of his shoe.

As the gunsmoke dissipated, three of the bad guys had sprung leaks. Two of the wounded and one who narrowly dodged a fresh piercing piled back into their car and “self-transported” to the hospital. A third, immobilized by his wounds, was transported by ambulance after police arrived.

The good guy with a gun went home physically uninjured.

ABC13 has the story . . .

A shopper at a southeast Houston convenience store opened fire when four masked robbers stormed inside, sending three suspects to the hospital.

Houston police said at least one of the robbery suspects was armed.

HPD officers were called to a Circle K convenience store at a Valero gas station located at 8040 South Loop East at 7:55 p.m. Thursday.

According to Asst. Chief Ernest Garcia, four suspects in masks entered the store and started robbing customers at gunpoint.

That’s when an armed customer pulled out their weapon and shot at the suspects, Garcia said. Three of the robbery suspects were shot.

One bystander was also hurt, though it was unclear if he was shot by one of the suspects or the customer, HPD said.

Pro-tip: Gas stations remain one of the three most likely places an average person will be victimized by bad guys. Why? Because there’s limited visibility, task fixation, (interfacing with the gas pumps), and bad guys can loiter inconspicuously.

Add to that most peoples’ natural inattentiveness along with four aspiring felons and these convenience store/gas stations make for great hunting for bad guys.

Unless, of course, a customer has good situational awareness, along with a gun and the skill set to use it effectively.

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      • A D+ is as good as an A+ if it keeps you alive and not injurered.

        I’d take a D+ ordinary armed citizen thats willing to engage a bad guy and save lives over a left-wing liberal that gets an A+ at whining and running away leaving others behind to die.

        • 100%, if you walk away uninjured and without chrome bracelets, that’s at least an A-, if that bad guy goes to jail it’s an A+

        • Consider Dirt Bags numbered One through Four had high hopes of driving away unscathed and considerably richer than when they got there, I’d say they scored a pile of F’s and John Q scored at least a pile of A marks.
          The best part is he did not nust engage dirtbags One through Four, he conducted himself in a way that most likely will neutralise at least three of them for some time now, making the score over the next while a daily A .

        • @ jeffrey bodeen
          This reminds me of an argument I made in university days about “An armed society is a polite society” after some … well, I’ll say sleet drop because she wasn’t quite a snowflake… anyway, she said we’re an armed society and people still aren’t polite. I replied that
          1. We aren’t really an armed society; an armed society would mean just about everyone would be not just carrying but also have been trained to shoot as part of a standard education, and
          2. Even without the education portion, if we just armed everyone it would take maybe four months and it would be a very polite society because in that amount of time the people who couldn’t learn to be polite would have been removed from the gene pool.

          The professor was almost as aghast at the idea as this gal was, but at least he noted that my argument was, given human behavior, logically sound.

      • @Rad Man

        BTW, the defender shot 3 out of 4, not 2 out of 3. The linked news article says…

        “Three of the robbery suspects were shot.”

        • Know what you call the guy who graduated 76th out of 85, despite plagiarism and lies about being in the top half of the class? President Zombie Brain.

      • Pass or fail. Go or no go. Survive or die. Your percentages are meaningless here. If you manage to go home and hug your kids before they go to bed, your day has been successful.

      • Apparently they give a lot fewer D-pluses than D-minuses. It’s not a grade they like to give out, I’ll tell you that right now.

  1. Nice. The usual suspects I assume.

    I’m always hyper vigilant when filling up. Head on a swivel, take your time, don’t get distracted, one task at a time.

    • Me too. Last year I was on one of my solo trips traveling to/from another State, and I stopped at a gas station after dark (I never allow my tank to go below half full). It was a larger station with perhaps twenty pumps, but I saw only one other vehicle there with me due to the late hour.

      Two sketchy white yutes in their early 20s – exhibiting that recognizable twitchiness many drug addicts have – appeared and approached the other vehicle. One of the yutes aggressively “requested” money. That vehicle’s driver happened to be getting into her car at the time, so she quickly closed her door and drove away. They then bee-lined toward me. I looked at the Alpha Yute square in the eyes and loudly said, “NO” before they came within 20 feet of me. One of the changed direction and headed toward the MiniMart’s door, while the other continued toward me for several more feet. I removed my hand from the pump handle and faced him fully with a look on my face that communicated I was prepared for whatever skullduggery his mind was conjuring up. He looked at me for a few seconds, then followed his companion.

      I always carry, and am always head-on-a-swivel at gas stations and ATMs.

      IMHO, using a strong and confident posture is always a good foundation to your self defense, even if you’re not carrying at the moment. For Pete’s sake, don’t be one of those people who stands around in Condition White without a clue while checking social media.

      • I started to be hyper vigilant while living in California. The beggars there love to accost you while you fill up your tank. I let it happen twice, and then never again.

        Now, I always make an effort to fill up early in the day.

      • If (potential) miscreants are approaching, best first action is to yell “STOP RIGHT THERE” as loud as you can. If they are just some dudes, they will take the hint and stop (and probably look at you funny — who cares). However, if they continue towards you, they have made their intent crystal clear and defensive action is warranted, whatever that may be.

        “No” is too ambiguous — yell exactly what you want them to do, and that is stop.

      • The gas nozzle makes an excellent weapon. Soak the b.g. with the flammable of your choice. Sprayed into his eyes will most assuredly make a christian out of him. I just had to point the nozzle at the creep to encourage him to depart the scene. It was only 80 octane but would have smarted in his eyeballs for a considerable period. Give you a perfect excuse about “What me? I was putting the nozzle back in the pump. Pure happenstance that it pointed at him while he was approaching me. Why was he approaching me while I was pumping gas anyway? I think I have it down by now and don’t need any help.”

  2. I’d hesitate pulling a gat out in ILLannoy. Indiana where I pump gasoline 99% of the time(generally less $) I’d have at it🙄

  3. Eye witness to a homicide at a convenience/gas station one night. I was in full uniform with a striped out patrol car. So were the three city police officers there. So much for the left’s “Let the professionals handle it.” We did and everyone that needs to be on death row is. But, that young man that only wanted to buy gas is still dead. You are responsible for your own safety. Act accordingly.

  4. houston, 1 of 4 cities in tx with terminal-drat-rectal-cancer – along with austin, dallas, san antonio

    • Should not be. The FBI system requires four or more deaths not counting the perp. Three with non-life-threatening injuries won’t make that book.

      Hopefully the three now-ventilated and leaky perps will be moved to make an informed decision once their medical and legal issues are settled and turn from their selfish and criminal ways. Maybe even their “pal” who escaped the medical end of things might accept the “free” wisdom his pals paid so dearly to provide.

  5. I’m maintain a high degree of hypervigilance at gas stations. I’m keenly aware of my surroundings. I know who’s getting gas and who is milling around the area. That gives ME that advantage, not some puke thinking I’m a target.

  6. “Gas stations remain one of the three most likely places an average person will be victimized by bad guys.”

    What are the other two places?

  7. Gas stations are dangerous that’s why I get my gasoline with 3ft of garden hose and a five gallon gas can.
    That joke just reminded me of the people who tried to siphon gas from an RV and had stuck their house in the latrine tank.

    • Possum, I got call from Mr. Kingry very early one morning. He had arrived at his saw mill to find one of his trucks burned and what appeared to be siphoning gear present. You know, gas can, hose. even a Zippo lighter. Now, I was no Sherlock Holmes, but I did have a little common sense. I asked dispatch to check with the local ER to see if they had a recent burn patient. I don’t believe in coincidence. Well, there you go.

      • Was he smoking while siphoning? I’ve had a few of those patients in various ERs.

        • Crimson, he used the lighter to see how much gas he had siphoned into the can. I shit you not. No one ever said intelligence was a prerequisite for being a criminal.

    • switch to five feet of clear 3/8 inch tubing. That way when you see the yellow flows of Texas you know you’ve got the wrong bungplug open. close that one and guess again.
      Better yet go get a job so yu can jus BUY the stuff.

    • I’ve always wondered about that, the only way to access the black tank is through the toilet or the drain line. I’m pretty sure no one is really that stupid.

      • Paul Harvey years ago told a story about someone in the dark of night trying to steal gas from a motor home and stiffened the wrong outlet. He said the next morning they found the hose and a lot of vomit on the ground. Gud day!

  8. As a teenager four men or teens pulled up to me in a big four-door Pontiac version of a Caprice Classic while I was sitting on my motorcycle pumping gas into it. They pointed a gun at me from inside of the car and demanded money. I pulled the nozzle out of the gas tank and sprayed it right into the face of the man holding the gun and then soaked down the entire interior of the vehicle for what seemed like an eternity but it was probably only about 5 seconds. The driver finally had enough sense to put the car in gear and drove away. Years later I found myself in a 7-Eleven and a very large black Dallas police officer was mad dogging me. He approached me and asked if I recognized him. I said no and then asked where I would know him from. He told me that he was one of the kids in the car and that he would never forget my face because it haunted his dreams. Apparently I scared him so bad he thought he was going to die and went completely straight from that moment forward. Two of his accomplices had died from gunshot wounds in the proceeding years and the third was serving a very long stretch in the state pen. He thanked me and told me that I had saved his life. I was really shocked that he was able to recognize my face nearly 15 years later.

      • Damn straight. Gasoline in the eyes of the one with the gun is an excellent ‘distraction’.

        Damn shame no one in the car was smoking. They would have ended up *really* smoking… 😉

    • Trauma on the level of fear of immediate death can do that — extreme emotional states can sear an image into the brain’s pathways enough that it will appear repeatedly in dreams. For some people seeing something that nearly matches the image into a mental freeze in which they’re unable to act or think, and they’ll just stand there reliving the terror that wrote that image so deeply into their memory. This guy adjusted well, able to actually come up to you and talk about it; some people will go into a mental freeze and not even know why (something I did for most of my life until an event triggered what felt like a “memory dump” as things I didn’t know I’d forgotten tumbled into my conscious memory and I could face it).

      Your reaction was one of my first thoughts when the idea of trying to rob someone while pumping gas came up: no one could pay me enough to try to rob someone with a gas nozzle in hand! I’ve risked my life a few times but with good reason; there’s no way on this green Earth I would walk into a confrontation that could end with me on fire!

    • Way back in the days of full service gas stations a friend of mine that worked as a pump jockey always carried a zippo. He squirted aholes with gas a couple times but never had to light them up.

    • I live alone and I just spent a few minutes laughing my head off…. BEST story of “gonna go right” I’ve heard.
      Funny how God has ways of “getting to” some folks. Even stranger are the ways He shows mercy to some.

      His three pals got the same dose of medicine and refused to let it do its work.
      As I read what you were doing my imagination raced ahead and guessed SOMEONE in that old Ponnyack had been smoking……. but the end result is even better. They all four lived, unhurt, three kept following that Brickyard Road, one went straight. Glad he recognised you, AND came up to get right with you. Well done, Sir.
      Not often we get to “read the rest of the story” when confrontation happens.

    • My first car was a pontiac. It was a barge. I think it was called a Starfire. 1964.

      • I wonder what THAT old boat would fetch on today’s collector market? Prolly a hunderd times what you paid for it.

        • I got curious. First it was a Star Chief, not Star fire. Memory glitch. But in decent shape they can go for 50 grand nowadays.

          I want to say it was 3 grand new. 12 month, 12 thousand mile warranty was the industry standard at the time.

  9. Coupla observations:

    – Valero like to herald that it is an American company, but was previously a group of companies below the southern border. The company still imports 122.9bbls of crude, with Mexico the largest source (46.7%) for imports; Russia accounts for 12.7%, with 16.4% from Brazil, Ecuador, Guyana.

    – The simple way to cut down on robberies at gas stations is to install numerous Gun Free Zone signs at each.

    • Sam:
      “The simple way to cut down on robberies at gas stations is to install numerous Gun Free Zone signs at each.”

      Surely, you jest. But, then again…

      • “Surely, you jest. But, then again…”

        It is settled science that GFZ signs prevent a coupla dozen mass shootings everyday, everywhere the signs are present. I read that somewhere.

        If GFZ signs don’t prevent mass shootings, why are there so many, in so many places. Copy what works, right?


        • I can’t shoot anyone in a GFZ (without significant delay, running to car and wondering if the appeals court would prefer I defend children or let them die) so more people will probably be shot there, until someone with another gun can arrive.

          Yep, they would prefer more due to advance their anti gun narrative, but you already knew that.

    • we all know those “gin free zone” signs will not be state complaiant thus noe binding. The dirtbags won’t know that, and will think they’ve got all the chickens in the same pen. They will be VERY surprised when they get “pulled on” when they think they’ve got it made and home free. Their new holes will certainly hurt the worse because of their surprise. Sorta like when the German troops came to that ghetto in Warsaw that was “supposedly” disarmed and learned it WASN’T disarmed.

  10. Did anyone notice this :

    “That’s when an armed customer pulled out their weapon and shot at the suspects, Garcia said.”

    The defender was a them/their ? ? ?

    • No, Garcia is one of those people afraid to give offense so everyone gets spoken about in generic terms.

      Which I find offensive….

    • Likely a neutral term per common LE policy, to further protect the identity of the Good Citizen by obscuring the gender.

      I don’t play the “him/her/zer” game either, but not everything is a nail that needs to be hammered.

    • Raymond and Geoff:
      To me that’s a “politically correct” offense against the English Language that grates on me like fingernails on a chalkboard. I wish they would stop doing that.
      And, yes, I did notice it. It’s hard not to.

      • On second thought, I might add that there’s an easy fix. What Garcia could have said is, “That’s when an armed customer pulled a weapon and shot at the suspects.” No gender identity and no fingernails on the chalkboard.

        • a good thing, as chalkboards are rapidly going the way of the dodo birds..AND intelligence.

  11. Officer Bill,

    THAT is actually inspiring.

    A priest friend of mine (we were in seminary together) has had an awful time of it. The past 30 years have drained him of health and hope. I will only say that the Church’s treatment of his health issues has been damnable. When we met some time ago, he said his life has been a waste. We talked about that and started to recall some of his excellent sermons, the time he spent with grieving families, his youth ministry, his hospital ministry. I asked him how many seeds of faith and hope and kindness he had planted over the decades. He thought about it and said “I did not even know I was planting them”. “Then how do you know none have grown into mighty trees or sprawling bushes”, I asked. He smiled for the first time during that visit.

    You were blessed to see the result of that gasoline baptism, Officer Bill. And that man’s changed life has likely touched many others.

    That is how we make the world a better place.

    Baptism by gasoline….gotta love it!!

    • The occupants of that car were blessed by not smoking at the time.

      You did your friend a great service… 🙂

  12. I’d like the source for the claim about “one of the three most likely places an average person will be victimized by bad guys”. I tried to search for the other two and the best I could find was this:

    Where Do Violent Crimes Occur in the U.S.?

    1. Homes & Apartment Complexes (346,399)
    2. Highway/Alley/Street/Sidewalk (130,331)
    3. Parking Garage/Lot (45,107)
    4. Convenience Stores (20,108)
    5. Unknown (17,981)
    6. Hotels/Motels (16,588)
    7. Gas Stations (11,795)

    That’s not quite the same criterion but it was the closest I could find (source:

    Just for what it’s worth, here are the rest of the top twelve from that article:

    8. Restaurants (10,490)
    9. Department Stores (9,870)
    10. Park/Playground (7,323)
    11. Grocery Stores (5,917)
    12. Bar/Nightclub (5,839)

    • Ray, the only thing that list proves is you better be ready all the time everywhere. Just saying.

      • excellent translation.
        I think I’ll go with that one. And my sidearm on my hip.

        Funny my state says NO guns in bars/liquor establishments.Except barkeep can carry one. State to the south, guns OK in all such places as long as you are not drinking whilst carrying.

        Makes perfect sense.
        that reminds me of a supposedly true account in a rural area of my state….. where guns are outlawed.

      • What’s missing, though, is the geography, i.e. where the particular locations these things happen are found. Most gas stations, convenience stores, parking garages, etc. will never have one violent crime in a decade, but they are high in the statistics because those in gang territory have violent crimes frequently (I had a friend who worked at the store of a gas station on the edge of what was considered inner city who quit after two months despite making almost four times the minimum wage because in those two months there had been three robberies involving guns and several more involving knives — while another friend at a store of the same company a mile away never even had to deal with a loud argument).

    • ““one of the three most likely places an average person will be victimized by bad guys”.”

      Doesn’t mean where most happen, it means where its most likely an average person will be victimized by bad guys. Likely hood vs frequency are two different things, you are conflating the two.

      You are looking at numbers for frequency of crime in terms of quantity, not probability in terms of likely hood of being victimized.

      People who are “vulnerable” (in some manner) are more likely to be victimized. For example, people pumping gas into their cars at the gas pumps tend to not have more broad situational awareness this are more “vulnerable” thus when getting gas people are in one of the three most likely places an average person will be victimized by bad guys.

    • Although I didn’t know the order, most of those places were ones I was aware of. Except for #5. I’m going to be a lot more careful there from now on.

      • … except you dont actually know you’re at a #5 until you wake up early the next afternoon with a concussion- level hangover and try your damndest to remember where you were and who’s else’s clothes are on the floor.

        • EVERYWHERE is dangerous to some degree. Even if I lock myself in the house and close all the blinds the space aliens could still get in and abduct me.

    • Do the same survey 20 times, and you’ll get 20 different results. It may vary from state to state, maybe from city to city, maybe from season to season, maybe varies with the demographics involved, or the phase of the moon. #3 in one survey, may slip t #6 in a very similar survey, then up to #2 the third time around.

      Best to just be aware that a dangerous place is a dangerous place, and be alert all the time.

  13. Isn’t this one of those incidents when the good guy takes on the bad guys and wins? the kind of incident that dacian the DUNDERHEAD says never happens?

    • dacian would be railing on those uncivilized Texas “shoot-to-kill” laws.

      Most uncivilized for those prospective antifa “volunteers”.

      • dacian is quick to label POTG as uncivilized, and sees the bad guy as a victim.
        Talk about assbackwards….

  14. I only go to the gas station after 2:00 AM…to get a 40oz bottle of King Cobra Malt Liquor…I drink it in the parking lot before driving away because you can’t drink and drive where I live.
    After reading this article I’m scared – should I have a gun with me from now on?

  15. “All are expected to survive”

    Well, that sucks. They’ll be at it again in a week. Houston and Austin – basically California. It’s like Missoula in Montana – nobody likes it except college kids and Californians.

  16. @rswartze
    “I can’t shoot anyone in a GFZ”

    Precisely. GFZs work. And anyone who does shoot in a GFZ is breaking the law, and needs intensive counseling to alter their behavior. And the behavior modification must include training about the folly and fantasy that humans have a natural, civil, and human right to defend themselves against deadly attack, using any means necessary. If you have to use a gun against another person, you are not free.

    No guns, no gun violence. No gun violence, no death by gunfire. No law, no crime.

  17. @Walter E Beverly III
    “Sam, ROFLMAOBT!”

    Glad you understood; always happy to entertain the insightful.

  18. Add multiple targets to your training regiment. Practice Shooting at different targets. Even if it means just moving from the top of the paper Target, to the bottom of the paper Target.
    And practice getting off the “X”. Take one step to the left or to the right before, when you’re about to shoot. Because the bad guys can have guns too.

    • Back when I was more mobile I had a bit of a different regimen: we’d go out on a logging road with sharp banks where they’d cut off a hillside and find a spot with a protruding tree trunk. Jugs with varying mild amounts of water got hung from roots sticking out, and random bits of wood left over from logging operations got stuck into the dirt bank as additional targets.
      There were no rules about it except to keep moving from whichever side you started over to the other one and shoot at a half dozen targets as you moved, two of which had to be different jugs swinging in the wind.
      For a tougher regimen we’d find a spot with nice leafy trees and tie milk jugs with just a little water in them to low branches. The wind moved the jugs but also moved the branches, so the resulting movements of the jugs were as good as random as can be gotten.
      I never was any good at the toughest one, though: standing in the back of a pickup bouncing along a rough surface with four or five milk jugs with mild amounts of water in them tied to the ends of ropes of varying lengths and stiffness; it wasn’t just moving targets but a jerkily moving platform; I did fine keeping my feet but hitting those jugs at the same time was a different story.

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