Everyone has likely wondered at one point or another how they would react in the face of danger. KHOU reports that A 64-year-old man who went with his gut and chose to protect some kids during a robbery at a Houston Denny’s on Monday died doing the right thing. The man, Robert Placette, stepped in front of a group of terrified children after a group of masked robbers threatened them and was fatally shot by the bandits.
Police report that there were three men wearing masks and bandanas who went into the restaurant and demanded that all customers and employees get on the ground. Witnesses say that, on top of taking purses and cell phones, they pointed guns at children.
Witnesses also noted that something angered the robbers just before they left, and they began shooting. They shot a 43-year-old employee who was trying to escape through the front door (and is now recovering in a local hospital) as well as Robert Placette. Robert’s son, Drue, is proud of his dad’s final actions.
"They said when they started pointing guns at the kids like that, he got up and stood in front of them. That is the only thing that kind of makes me happy, makes me smile, makes me proud that he would do that," Drue said. "I think that my dad died honorably and I hope people remember that."
“If they are putting a gun to a small kid’s head, they need to be stopped,” he added.
While the men couldn’t be identified due to the masks, surveillance cameras may have captured their getaway vehicle, which is thought to be a minivan, potentially stolen.
The Denny's opened for business just hours following the incident. Regular customers stopped by to make sure everyone was okay. "You never think it’s going to happen to somebody you know,"said Peggy McMillan, a regular, "or some place that you go, and it’s really sad when it does."
We certainly hope they catch these cowardly thieves, and our thoughts are with Drue and his family at this time.