Armed robbers strike at House of Pies, fire shots

HPD: Suspects after cellphones and cash

By Gianna Caserta - Reporter , Mary Cuervo

HOUSTON - It was a terrifying night for customers and employees at House of Pies on Westheimer Road in southwest Houston.

"The biggest thing we were concerned about was what pie to order and then all of a sudden, we hear a gunshot, and someone screaming get on the floor," said customer Amber McDaniel.

Houston police said two men with their faces covered barged into the popular 24-hour pie restaurant and diner around 10 p.m. Thursday.

"I hadn't even ordered yet.  I just heard a loud sound like a balloon, and some guys started screaming get on the floor," said customer Mark Reed. "I was slow to react,  I looked around and saw other people on the floor so I said, well I probably should get on the floor myself."

That's when customers said the men went table to table stealing cellphones and cash, and threatening lives.

"We crawled under the table, and a guy came by and kicked me, and said, 'Where is your money?'" Kelly Dottie said.

Dottie and McDaniel were together. They said the suspects also took cash from the register and fired two shots in the air because customers were taking too long to hand over their money and cellphones.

"He threatened everyone that if you don't have your money, wallet or cellphones, and if he was to pull you out, that you would die, that he would kill you," McDaniel said. "And here we are, by the grace of God."

Police said a brave woman near the door managed to sneak out and wave down a passing police officer.

Investigators said once the armed robbers saw the officer, they took off running.

"Numerous officers on the ground were aided by a helicopter," said Senior Officer Ned Kelly with the Houston Police Department. "They immediately saturated the area and started looking for the suspect after they were given descriptions by customers."

One person was detained and taken in for questioning, but so far no charges have been filed. The other man is still on the loose at this time.

Officers also recovered a backpack full of stolen cell phones. Those phones were returned to the victims.

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