In Houston, Texas, on November 26, a local vigilante injured two African- American officers after mistaking them for armed robbers.
Jebediah Ashton, a nearby neighbor and vigilante, responded first to the armed robbery at a convenience store. He explained, “I heard gunshots and saw through my window two black guys running away from the convenience store. The owner is my brother-in-law, so I picked up my AR-15 and ran towards the alleyway.”
Officers Jamal Brown and Khalil Mohan had arrived on the scene a few minutes after the robbery and were looking for the suspects in the alleyway before Ashton arrived. Ashton recalls shooting at the officers thinking they were the robbers. “I started shooting before police officers arrived and I showed them two guys hiding behind a garbage container, and that’s when they all started shooting like crazy.”
Hearing gunshots, local residents called 9-1-1, leading other police officers towards Brown and Mohan. After asking Brown and Mohan to put down their weapons, the officers began shooting at them in a confused frenzy. Brown and Mohan found cover behind a garbage container as over 200 rounds were fired within five minutes.
Realizing Brown and Mohan were also officers, the police ceased fire. Both Brown and Mohan were unscathed by bullets, but were left with multiple cuts and sores. They were both expected resume work within a few days of the incident. Deputy Sheriff Johnson of the Houston police comments, “God bless, no bullets reached any of our officers, but it was a pretty close call.”
The Houston Police Department has decided not to press any charges on Ashton, since he was right to defend his brother-in-law’s store, and since no one was severely wounded by his gun.