Denny's robbers kill customer, wound employee in west Houston

HOUSTON (KHOU) – A customer was fatally shot and an employee was injured during a robbery at a Denny's restaurant in west Houston, homicide detectives said early Tuesday.

It happened at the Denny's along Interstate 10 at Washington Avenue around 10:30 p.m. Monday, according to officers with the Houston Police Department.

Police said three men wearing masks and bandanas went into the restaurant and ordered all customers and employees to the ground.

A family member of one of the victims said the men took purses and cell phones, and even pointed their guns at small children. The men also stole money from the customers and the cash register.

Witnesses said the robbers became angry and started shooting before they left the scene. The bullets struck a customer and an employee who was trying to escape out the front door.

Family members identify the customer as 64-year-old Robert Placette, who later died at Memorial Hermann Hospital.

A 43-year-old employee remains hospitalized at Ben Taub Hospital. He is expected to be OK.

The robbers escaped in a minivan.

Police spent several hours looking over the scene and the evidence, which included bullet holes in some of the cars parked outside.

Police said the men wore masks, but the crime and the getaway vehicle may have been captured on video by surveillance cameras.


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