Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Galveston County Robber Shot

Galveston County, Texas

From the June 3, 2009 Houston Chronicle:

A 77-year-old man was within his rights when he shot a robber during a holdup of a game room in unincorporated Galveston County, Texas City police officials said Tuesday.

“He is truly a victim whose back was against the wall,” said Texas City police Capt. Brian Goetschius, referring to Robert Hays.

Hays was among about a dozen patrons inside Players Paradise about 12:45 a.m. Monday when a pair of armed men stormed the club at 4801 State Highway 146, officials said.

Hays said he was "peacefully minding my own business'' when the armed robbers forced their way inside.

"The next thing I knew, I was essentially flying through the air backwards and slammed down on the floor,'' said Hays, a Korean War veteran.

Hays, now lying on the floor, handed the robber his wallet. "He looked through it and threw it back down on me," he said.

He watched as the robbers worked their way through the game room, taking the wallets and purses from their other victims.

A snub-nose .38 caliber revolver in his hands, Hays was ready in case the robbers came at him.

"There were only two ways he could get at me,'' Hays said. "I positioned myself on the floor where I could see him if he came either way.''

Hays pulled the revolver from under his shirt and fired a single shot, striking one of the masked robbers, Goetschius said.

"It's not an easy thing to pull a trigger on a human being,'' Hays said. "But, when that man stood over me and said, 'Give me all your money,' my blood just boiled."

The robber fell to the ground and dropped his gun, Goetschius said. “One of his shoes came off and he ran out the back door with the other suspect.”

Hays said he shot the man to protect himself and the other patrons at the game room, especially Sharon, his wife of 39 years.

"When that first man dropped his pistol and went down, she got up and grabbed (it) and was ready to back me up,'' Hays said.

Also covered by the June 2, 2009 Galveston County Daily News:
TEXAS CITY — A 77-year-old Korean War veteran fired one round Monday, wounding one of two masked men suspected in the robbery of a game room on the outskirts of the city, authorities said.

There were about 12 patrons inside Players Paradise, 4801 state Highway 146 Suite B, when a frequent guest knocked on the door, Capt. Brian Goetschius of Texas City police said.

The game room, which was robbed at 12:44 a.m., was open only to members, Goetschius said.

“They looked through the monitors and recognized him as being there before,” Goetschius said. “They ordered everyone to the ground, went through several wallets and got the apron from the attendant.”

The veteran, Robert Hays of Texas City, was thrown to the ground, and then a suspect went through his wallet, Goetschius said.

“The 77-year-old concealed gun permit carrier drew his .38-caliber revolver and shot one of the crooks,” Goetschius said. “The crook immediately fell to the floor, and he dropped his gun and he lost a shoe.”

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