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Police: Store Owner Shoots, Kills Three Would-Be Robbers

Police: Store Owner Shoots, Kills Three Would-Be Robbers

Police officers and detectives investigate the shooting of three suspected robbers by a jewelry store owner in Houston on Thursday. [AP]

The Houston Chronicle via YellowBrix

December 17, 2010

HOUSTON – In the back room of a humble jewelry store and pawn shop in Houston’s East End Thursday afternoon, a gunman tied Eva Castillo’s wrists tightly — too tightly. She complained of the pain, so he loosened the bindings. Then Castillo’s husband was ordered at gunpoint to put his hands behind his back.

But Ramon Castillo had a surprise for the gunman and two cohorts, who had announced they were robbing the business.

Castillo pulled a pistol from his waistband and shot the gunman dead. Then he grabbed a shotgun from his office and engaged in a shootout with the other two armed robbers.

When it was over, all three robbers were dead — and Castillo, though shot at least three times, was still standing, having successfully defended what was rightfully his.

It was the third time his shop, Castillo’s Jewelry at 4502 Canal at Super Street, had been robbed since it opened 22 years ago, East End residents said.

Castillo, 52, apparently did not immediately realize he had been shot, officers said. He walked outside the store and looked around for more gunmen, then went back inside the business, realized he was wounded and untied his 48-year-old wife, who was unharmed, said Houston Police Department homicide investigator M.F. “Fil” Waters.

He remained in surgery at Ben Taub General Hospital late Thursday, where he was listed in critical but stable condition, with gunshot wounds to his left shoulder, left abdomen and legs, Houston police said. He is expected to survive.

Investigators said so many shots were fired inside the jewelry shop in a two- or three-minute span that they could not estimate the number of rounds. “We’ve got bullet fragments all over the place, casings all over the place, shotgun slugs all over the place, so it’s really hard to determine at this point how many rounds were actually fired – but quite a few,” Waters said.

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