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Port Arthur native laid to rest after trying to protect children from gunmen in Houston Denny's
PORT ARTHUR - By Justin Hinton, KFDM News
Family and friends laid Greig Placette to rest after witnesses say he shielded children from three gunmen inside a west Houston Denny's restaurant Monday night.
"It was just innate inside of him. He knew what had to be done and he stood up and did it," said his cousin, Father David Placette.
Other people in the restaurant consider Greig a hero. His cousin says he was doing what came natural to him.
"I would be 100 percent sure in saying he did these things out of just love. Out of just pure, Christian love, he said. Knowing him and knowing his faith, he got in front of that boy knowing that this was what he had to do."
Greig Placette was born in Port Arthur and a number of relatives still live in the area. He graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School and Lamar University. He is survived by his son, two sisters, four grandchildren and other relatives.
Father Placette said he received a letter from Greig the day he found out he had been shot and killed.
"He mailed me a letter from Houston at 3 o'clock, Monday afternoon. He wanted flowers for his dad. He wanted masses said in memory of his dad and that's what the letter was about, he said. It's a natural law to have deaths of heart attack, stroke and car accidents, but whenever someone is shot and killed and murdered, that is not natural."
A Denny's employee was also shot during the evening. He was transported to Ben Taub Hospital and is expected to be okay.
Police are still looking for the gunmen.
HOUSTON - by www.khou.com staff, Tim Wetzel & Jeremy Desel/KHOU 11 News
HOUSTON A Port Arthur native was fatally shot and an employee was injured during a robbery at a Dennys restaurant in west Houston, homicide detectives said early Tuesday.
Robert Greig Placette died trying to shield children from the gunmen, according to witnesses. Placette was born in Port Arthur and a number of relatives still live in the area. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Clayton-Thompson Funeral Home. Visitation is Friday from 5-8pm at Clayton Thompson. The vigil is at 6 p.m. Funeral services are at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Catherine of Siena Church in Port Arthur. Greig graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School and Lamar University. He is survived by his son, two sisters, four grandchildren and other relatives.
It happened at the Dennys along Interstate 10 at Washington Avenue around 10:30 p.m. Monday, according to officers with the Houston Police Department.
Police said three men wearing masks and bandanas went into the restaurant and ordered all customers and employees to the ground.
A family member of one of the victims said the men took purses and cell phones, and even pointed their guns at small children. The men also stole money from the customers and the cash register.
Witnesses said the robbers became angry and started shooting before they left the scene. The bullets struck a customer and an employee who was trying to escape out the front door.
Family members identify the customer as 64-year-old Robert Placette, who later died at Memorial Hermann Hospital.
"He was a good man who always tried to do right by people," said Drue Placette, the victims son.
Witnesses say Placette was standing in front of terrified children to protect them when he was shot in the chest.
"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," said Drue. "I think that my dad died honorably and I hope people remember that."
A 43-year-old Dennys employee remains hospitalized at Ben Taub Hospital. He is expected to be OK.
The robbers escaped in a minivan, believed to be stolen.
Police spent several hours looking over the scene and the evidence, which included bullet holes in some of the cars parked outside.
Police said the men wore masks, but the crime and the getaway vehicle may have been captured on video by surveillance cameras.
If they are putting a gun to a small kids head, they need to be stopped," said Drue Placette.
Dennys reopened a few hours after the deadly robbery. Regulars stopped by to check on the employees theyve come to know.
"You never think its going to happen to somebody you know, or some place that you go, and its really sad when it does," said Peggy McMillan, a regular. "Its horrible. We just want to check and make sure everybody is OK. I know somebody didnt make it and we feel really bad about it."