Police believe up to four masked men behind a deadly convenience store robbery in northwest Houston may also be responsible for several others in the area.
The latest incident happened at a store in the 5000 block of Gessner around 8:40pm Thursday. Houston police said several armed suspects were wearing masks when they ran into the store, jumped the counter and ordered everyone to the ground. They also demanded customers to hand over their wallets.
One of the customers, identified as Markus Holden, 43, was shot and killed during a confrontation with the suspects.
"The information we have is that he might have refused to give up his wallet, was hit in the head and was then shot," said Mark Condon with the Houston Police Department.
Holden died at the scene.
Holden was a regular customer at the store and well-known in the neighborhood. Several people told Local 2 they called him "Richard Pryor" because of his resemblance to the late legend. Like Pryor, Holden dreamed of being a standup comedian.
"If you were having a bad day, if you really wanted to make a bad day into a good day, come see Richard Pryor. He'd make you laugh," said Temeka Hicks.
Holden was a member of the Latter Day Prayer Band Ministry. The church's assistant pastor described him as a humble man.
"Very caring. An uplifting person. Every time he saw you he had kind words," said assistant pastor Tina Curry.
Holden's mother is a member of St. James Baptist Church. Associate minister Calvin Curry said his business, Certified Fire Protection, is joining with the Latter Day Prayer Band Ministry to offer a $1,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the case.
"When I first got the news last night, I just wanted to respond to it, to be there for the family, for the mom. Because when you hurt one you hurt all of us. That's the pain you feel and we feel her pain," said Curry.
Investigators said the store has a security system, but the robbery was not captured on camera.
Police said all of the suspects fled the scene with an unknown amount of cash.
No arrests have been made; however, police said they do believe this crime is possibly related to several others.