Two robbers shot, one dead,
when accosting armed citizen
Originally ran here
"Off-duty officer shoots 2 robbers killing 1"
By CAROL CHRISTIAN
Houston Chronicle, July 29, 2001
Two men were shot, one fatally, early today in
northwest Houston while allegedly trying to rob an off-duty Harris County deputy
constable they found asleep in his pickup.
One man died about noon at Memorial Hermann
Hospital, where the other one remained this afternoon in critical condition.
Their identities were not released.
Stephen Hastings, 27, who has been a deputy
constable for five years, was on his way home to Clear Lake from his Porter
ranch about 2 a.m. when he became sleepy, said Houston police spokesman Martin
De Leon. Hastings pulled off Interstate 45 at West Mount Houston and parked his
black extended-cab pickup, with his four-wheeler in the back, in front of a
Sometime during the night, a Houston police
officer on patrol noticed Hastings in the truck but after determining the
Precinct 8 deputy constable was asleep, did not disturb him.
About 5:55 a.m., two men -- described as white,
in their late teens or early 20s -- parked their 1989 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme
in front of Hastings' pickup, blocking his exit, De Leon said.
The passenger got out of the Oldsmobile, armed
with a .22-caliber rifle, approached the pickup and banged on the driver-side
window with the rifle barrel, De Leon said. The man demanded that Hastings get
out, which he did with both hands visible, according to Houston police.
"He told the suspect to get whatever he
wanted out of his truck, that the money was in there," De Leon said. But
the man with the rifle told Hastings to get the money out himself.
Hastings then reached into his center console,
pulled out a .40-caliber pistol and shot the man, who was still pointing the
rifle at him, De Leon said. Then, when the driver of the Oldsmobile got out of
the car, "The officer, fearing for his safety, fired at that suspect as
well," De Leon said.
Hastings, who was not injured, fired a total of
seven shots before calling 911. Police had not determined whether the other two
men fired any shots, De Leon said. They were taken to the hospital by LifeFlight
The constable will be placed on administrative
leave and referred to a police psychologist, De Leon said. If the man in
critical condition survives, he faces minimum charges of aggravated robbery, De
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