Real Life Combat: Jewelry Store Shootout
A jewelry store owner recently defended himself and his wife:
In the back room of a humble jewelry store and pawn shop in Houston’s East End Thursday afternoon, a gunman tied Eva Castillo’s wrists tightly — too tightly. She complained of the pain, so he loosened the bindings. Then Castillo’s husband was ordered at gunpoint to put his hands behind his back.
But Ramon Castillo had a surprise for the gunman and two cohorts, who had announced they were robbing the business.
Castillo pulled a pistol from his waistband and shot the gunman dead. Then he grabbed a shotgun from his office and engaged in a shootout with the other two armed robbers.
When it was over, all three robbers were dead — and Castillo, though shot at least three times, was still standing, having successfully defended what was rightfully his.
It was the third time his shop, Castillo’s Jewelry at 4502 Canal at Super Street, had been robbed since it opened 22 years ago, East End residents said.
Castillo, 52, apparently did not immediately realize he had been shot, officers said. He walked outside the store and looked around for more gunmen, then went back inside the business, realized he was wounded and untied his 48-year-old wife, who was unharmed, said Houston Police Department homicide investigator M.F. “Fil” Waters.
Investigators said so many shots were fired inside the jewelry shop in a two- or three-minute span that they could not estimate the number of rounds. “We’ve got bullet fragments all over the place, casings all over the place, shotgun slugs all over the place, so it’s really hard to determine at this point how many rounds were actually fired – but quite a few,” Waters said.
They said Castillo protects his store like a fortress, using an electronic door to buzz customers in and out. Customers are locked inside the store until they leave. Numerous video cameras are inside. “He’s done everything he can do to secure his business,” Waters said.
“Somebody would have to be stupid to come rob the place because of the way it’s set up,” said a 30-year-old East End resident who would not give his name. “Everybody in the neighborhood knows how it is – everybody knows once you get in, he has to let you out. When you walk in, he buzzes you in, and when you walk out, he has to buzz you out.”