HOUSTON -

Harris County Sheriff's Office investigators are searching for several men who robbed a taqueria Tuesday night and shot the son of one of the employees.

The incident happened Tuesday night at around 11 p.m., in the 15000 block of Kuykendahl in north Harris County. Witnesses say a vehicle stopped in front of the business and several men wearing masks and carrying guns jumped out of a vehicle and demanded cash and cell phones.

Cesar Martinez, 21, was shot at least one time as he tried to protect his mother from being robbed at gunpoint.

"I would do the same to defend my mom," said Itza Mejia, who works at Taqueria Nino. "I think he (Martinez) feels better it was him and not his mom."

After the shooting, Martinez stumbled to a gas station across the street and banged for help on the locked door.

An employee inside the gas station called 9-1-1, but the armed robbers were gone by the time investigators arrived.

Martinez was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.