It was standoff in broad daylight at a busy intersection in southern Dallas Sunday.
Authorities say a robbery suspect now identified as Jose Torres drove a stolen green truck into the Walgreens parking lot, ran inside and took an elderly woman hostage at gunpoint.
“She was saying that God has not forsaken you,” said a witness who asked her to conceal her identity. “‘He has not forgotten you.’”
The witness hid behind the photo counter as the scene unfolded inside the Walgreens store at Hampton Road and Ledbetter Avenue.
“The policeman or negotiator kept saying, ‘I know that you want to see your son. I know you want to live to see your son,’’ The witness said. “That’s basically what he kept saying over and over again.”
The standoff ended peacefully after a patrol sergeant convinced Torres to release the hostage and hand over the gun.
Torres, 30, is suspected in a half a dozen robberies of fast-food robberies in southern Dallas. The most robbery recent occurred Sunday morning.
Torres was placed on probation last October on three counts of sexual assault of a child. Prosecutors filed a motion seeking to revoke his probation last Monday after he tested positive for drug usage, did not register as a sex offender and failed to participate in sex offender treatment as required.
The events that led to the standoff began when police spotted the stolen truck and tried to make a traffic stop. The witness was inside the store when she heard police screaming, “Get down. Get down.”
She immediately complied.
“I heard the guy saying that he had a gun and that he wasn’t going to hurt the elderly lady,” the witness said. “She was talking to him in a very calm voice. She was a lot calmer than I would have been.”
During the standoff, police shut down the busy intersection and the nearby businesses. Employees of the nearby Jack in the Box were told to stop serving customers.
They had seen the truck come swerving into the parking lot. They also watched as frantic employees and customers came stampeding out of the store.
“I was scared because that’s not something that’s supposed to happen,” said Chelsea Williams. “It’s a Sunday. It’s a nice day.”
Police say Torres was driving a green truck that had been taken in a carjacking early Friday.
That same truck was used in robbery of a Jack in Box Saturday morning. Police released surveillance pictures of the suspect.
Ivan Lopez was the victim of that carjacking.
He says he and his friends were standing in the driveway when a man with a gun approached.
“He told us to shut up and give us the keys,” Lopez said.
His parents drove by and saw his truck outside the Walgreens.
“Friday night when we saw the guy, he seemed really nervous like he didn't know what he was doing,” Lopez said. “Like he didn't want to rob us, like he had no choice.”
Lopez was booked into the Dallas County jail on a charge of aggravated kidnapping. Police are continuing to investigate his connection to the robberies.