East Texan refuses to give robbers wallet, gets shot

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - By Bob Hallmark - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email | Twitter

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - In broad daylight, an East Texas man is robbed at gunpoint but refuses to turn over his wallet and is shot for it!

It happened late Saturday evening at the Sunbelt Mobile Home Park in Longview in the 1200 block of Highway 31.

"It appears maybe to be a crime of opportunity," said Kevin Brownlee, with Longview Police. "They saw him sitting in his car and thought he might be an easy victim."

Benito Martinez was looking for something in his vehicle when he was approached by three juvenile males one carrying a semi-automatic pistol. The three suspects in this case demanded Martinez's wallet. When he refused, they shot him in the leg.

"You hate to tell someone to just give over their wallet," said Brownlee. "They have a job and hard earned money. You hate to tell them just to give it over. If he'd been shot in the chest or the face he may not have survived it."

Neighborhood security cameras captured the juveniles wearing baggy shorts, and one curiously carrying a bedroll or sleeping bag.

"If that is what he's carrying, it might indicate they're not staying at somebody's house," said Brownlee. "They could be staying outside somewhere."

After shooting Martinez, the suspects quickly moved on.

"The suspects ran through the mobile home park, they jumped a fence and ran," said Brownlee. "[They were] last seen towards the direction of the Autumn Wood Apartments."

Police say Martinez suffered a non-lethal wound, but he was lucky.

"If he'd just given over his wallet would he have been shot? We don't know that," said Brownlee. "[Being] shot in the leg, in this case, was not a life threatening situation but it could have been."

Martinez is recovering at home now.

Anyone with information on the case, or the whereabouts of the three juveniles all said to be around 15 or 16, is asked to call Longview Police.

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