Faced with a break-in from robbers who threatened to harm him and his family, a Houston jewelry store owner was forced to defend himself with deadly force Thursday. The 52-year-old man killed three armed robbers, police say, after they used zip ties to tie up his wife. But when they went to subdue Ramon Castillo, the store owner reportedly brandished a pistol out of his waistband.
In the next moment, a gun shootout ensued, leaving gun shells and bullet fragments littering the store. After killing one crook with his pistol, Castillo grabbed a shotgun and fired at the other two. In the end, the three would-be robbers were killed at the scene.
"It is a pretty incredible story," Houston Police Det. Fil Waters says. "The man, clearly defending his business, clearly defending his wife and himself. These three guys -- there was absolutely nothing other than hijacking the store."
Fortunately Castillo's wife escaped injury as she dove behind a counter as bullets began to fly. In the shootout, however, Castillo took a bullet to the abdomen and would be undergoing surgery.
Nearby residents told the local news that they don't have much sympathy for the crooks. Theresa Arellano described the Castillos as "nice people" who didn't deserve to be attacked. "They've been in the neighborhood for as long as I can remember," Arellano said. "Why them?"
Police are now examining the shop's surveillance videos to piece together the whole story.
By Friday evening, Houston Police had identified two of the three robbery suspects, but believe a possible fourth suspect may have gotten away.