Houston police say an 18-year-old sandwich shop employee was fatally shot as he tried to protect his mother during an attempted robbery at the store. Police say Javier Flores and his mother were the only people working in the southeast Houston Subway restaurant near closing time Wednesday night when two assailants rushed in and pointed a gun at the woman, the AP reports. Detective David Crowder says Flores "attempted to push [her] out of the way as the suspect was firing, and he was hit and the mother was not." The high school junior was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Crowder says authorities hope Flores' distraught mother can help them with information about the attackers, but it's "very hard for her to talk about this." Police believe the two suspects, who left empty-handed, may have robbed a second Subway in the area after the fatal shooting, the Houston Chronicle reports. Police say the suspects, described as black males between 16 and 20 years old, fled the scene in a four-door, gold-colored sedan, KHOU reports. A Crime Stoppers reward of $5,000 was bumped up to $30,000 Thursday when a private citizen donated $25,000. (Read more armed robbery stories.)