HOUSTON – A 63-year-old clerk was killed Tuesday when he tried to stop a robbery at a southwest Houston convenience store, police said.
The incident happened about 9:30 p.m. at the Shop 4 All Food Store at the corner of McHard Road and Park Manor Street.
Houston police said two men dressed in black clothing and a ski masks approached the store. One of the men stayed at the door and acted as a lookout and the other entered the store and pointed a gun at a clerk and demanded money, police said.
Jose Fidel Gomez was in the back of the store and heard what was going on, according to police. Gomez confronted the robber and pulled out a gun, police said. Gomez and the robber each fired once, police said. Gomez was killed.
The robber ran from the store without taking anything, police said.
The first clerk was not injured.
Meanwhile, at the store, flowers and candles lay at the entrance.
"He's wonderful. He's wonderful. He's an angel in the ground, now in the sky," said long-time family friend Ernestina Reyes.
Gomez was the godfather of Reyes' daughter.
"They were always together. He would come by and give her things. He would always see how she was doing. My daughter loved him," Reyes said.
She said Gomez was the type of person who would give anything to those in need. He had helped Reyes' husband get work.
She said his story will be told and his spirit will live in the lesson's he's taught others. She said Gomez would give her and her husband plants and flowers to beautify their home. He was a man who prioritized helping and protecting those he loved.
"He doesn't care who it is, if they needed help, he helped," Reyes said.
The family is working on funeral arrangements.
Houston police are looking at surveillance video. The suspects are still on the run.
A GoFundMe page has been created to help Gomez's family with expenses.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-8477.