AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Amarillo police say Wednesday a second suspect was identified and later arrested following an attempted robbery and fatal shooting at an Amarillo business.
Authorities said Ruben Rios, 29, was taken to the Potter County Detention Center around 2 a.m. and booked on a murder charge.
Rios and another man, 36-year-old Clayton Morgan, reportedly entered the La Bella Pizza located near Western Street late Tuesday to rob the business. Witnesses said Morgan was armed and used his weapon to make demands on store employees.
One of the employees, a licensed firearm carrier, fired his weapon at Morgan after being threatened. The suspect was struck and taken to an area hospital where he later died.
One witness, who wished to remain unidentified, told NewsChannel 10 Wednesday morning medical staff showed up within minutes of the shooting.
"I was like this guy got shot and is dying fast. You need to get here quick."
Rios's murder charge stems from the fatal shooting, according to police. Under Texas law, a person can be tried for the charge if they take part in the crime in which someone was killed.
However Ryan Brown, a local defense attorney, says the murder charge is a misreading of the law.
"If you're accused of a crime, the government wants to charge you with the highest crime possible," said Brown. "Often that means a crime that doesn't fit the facts. A murder charge will mean a higher bond, a longer time in jail. A threat of a larger punishment. All these things pressure people to plead out to something quickly."
Police said the Morgan's weapon was a BB gun furnished to appear as a real handgun.
Authorities are still asking anyone with information on the incident to contact Special Crimes at (806) 378-9468.
The original article, published at 2:22 a.m., is below:
Another employee, who was licensed to carry a firearm, fired his weapon
One man is dead following an attempted robbery at La Bella Pizza.
A local restaurant that is normally a quiet place on a weekday night, was writing a different story after an attempted robbery.
Around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday night APD and paramedics were called to La Bella Pizza in the 3800 block of Olsen Blvd. after reports of shots fired.
A restaurant employee said a man entered the establishment with a gun. That's when things turned violent.
One employee was forcibly grabbed, and used as a hostage.
"He got grabbed by the collar. Pretty rough. He thought it was me messing with him honestly," said a witness.
That is when the restaurant's assistant manager reportedly opened fire, striking the suspect multiple times. The witness said he remembers working and hearing the out of place sound.
"And I hear something like, I'm thinking someone slamming a paddle on the table," said a witness. "I hear two big old slaps and then one other big slap. And that's not a paddle, that's gunshots."
From there the co-workers reacted to the situation at hand.
"One of [my] co-workers pull[ed] him away from our dough fridge, where his weapon was when he was shot. And their was a lot of blood just smeared across the floor as he dragged him," said a witness.
Witnesses say 911 was dialed and emergency crews were at the scene within minutes.
"I was like this guy got shot and is dying fast. You need to get here quick," said a witness.
When first responders arrived, they found the suspect in critical condition. Paramedics immediately started chest compressions as the injured suspect was loaded into an ambulance.
He was taken to the Level Three Trauma Center at Northwest Texas Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Yellow tape surrounded the scene, marking off part of the parking lot as officers inside and outside the business worked to piece together exactly what happened.
A few hours after the shooting, one witness said he is still trying to wrap his mind around what he saw.
"[I am] just kind of shaken from it. Obviously, anyone would be. I'm still shaking at this point," said witness.
The witness said the incident should serve as a warning to any other individual who plans to commit a crime.
"It's not a good idea to rob a local store, especially in Texas. Like I said, don't mess with Texas," said a witness.
APD Special Crimes is investigating the incident.
Most details about the on-going investigation are being kept under wraps due to special circumstances surrounding the alleged suspect, and anyone else who may be potentially involved with the attempted robbery.