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Donut shop owner shot during robbery in northwest Harris County

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A donut shop owner is in a hospital after being shot in a robbery in northwest Harris County. Investigators say the thieves opened fire Tuesday morning at Fantastic Donuts on Highway 249. People who work nearby are shaken about what happened.

Deputies tell me the shop owner was shot a couple of times and he's been in surgery most of the day.

The front window was shattered from a bullet during a robbery that ended in gunfire the donut shop. Deputies say the damage from bullets is much worse.

Customer Ron Casteel said, "Oh yeah, it's bad. I hate it. I hate it."

Casteel is a regular customer at the small northwest Harris County donut shop. He saw the owner just a short time before deputies say the place was robbed by a couple of masked gunmen.

"He usually gets here around 5 o'clock every morning, and he's slamming donuts out," Casteel said.

Investigators say it was just before 7am when a couple of robbers wearing black clothing and masks ambushed the donut shop. Detectives say the owner was behind the counter when the crooks began firing their guns. They say the shop owner was injured as he returned fire.

"What little bit I've seen so far, it appears as if there were two individuals entered the business, and possibly a driver of a dark colored sedan up in front of the business," said Sgt. Joe Freeman with the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

A woman who identified herself as the shop owner's ex-wife showed up to the scene as the victim was rushed to the hospital for surgery.

I asked whether this donut shop robbery is linked to the violent ambush at a Shipley's on Little York Monday morning, where a gunman forced a group of workers into a back room. For now, deputies say they don't believe the two crimes are connected.

"I hope they find these guys," Casteel said.

The store owner's ex-wife didn't want to comment about the robbery, but she did tell some neighbors in the business complex that the shop owner is out of surgery and listed as stable.

Anyone with information about the suspects' identities in this case is asked to call Crime Stoppers of Houston at 713-222-TIPS or to submit a tip via the iWatchHarrisCounty phone app.

Find Demond on Facebook at ABC13DemondFernandez or on Twitter at @demondfernandez

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