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Suspects identified in robbery that left 1 dead after shootout with bystander inside Port Arthur fast-food restaurant

Two people with handguns were robbing the restaurant when an armed citizen intervened, police said.

PORT ARTHUR, Texas — One of two suspects is dead after a Friday night shootout inside a Port Arthur fast-food restaurant, according to a Port Arthur Police news release.

Officers responded to the report of an aggravated robbery around 8:45 p.m. at a Church's Chicken restaurant, which is located at 1849 Jefferson Drive in Port Arthur.

Detectives learned two people with handguns were robbing the restaurant when an armed citizen intervened, according to the release.

Several shots were fired and both suspects were injured before they left the scene. The two robbery suspects were later located by Port Arthur Police.

One suspect, later identified by Port Arthur Police as 33-year-old Port Arthur native Richardo Guient, was pronounced dead by a health official, and the other is expected to be OK.

Detectives interviewed and released the person who intervened during the aggravated robbery. His identity has not been released by officials.

The ongoing investigation revealed the driver of the getaway vehicle was identified as 40-year-old Justin Cunningham. He was stopped by Nederland Police for a traffic stop a short time after the robbery. Cunningham was arrested for an outstanding felony warrant issued out of Hardin County.

Cunningham is currently in the Jefferson County Correctional Facility and is held on a $20,000 bond, jail records show.

RELATED: Closer Look: Man fatally shot during alleged robbery of Port Arthur restaurant had served time for armed robbery

Port Arthur Police believe Guient was also the suspect of an aggravated robbery at a Jack In The Box fast-food restaurant in Port Arthur on September 29, 2021. The fast-food restaurant is located at 4001 Twin City Highway. 

Detectives said he entered the business with a handgun and began demanding money from employees. After receiving approximately $200, Guient allegedly left the business on foot. Port Arthur Police arrived minutes later and were unable to locate the suspect.

The clothing Guient was wearing during the Church's Chicken robbery matched the suspect's clothing at the Jack In The Box robbery, according to the Port Arthur Police Department. Detectives believe he acted alone in the Jack In The Box robbery.

"The armed suspect in both robberies had on identical gloves with unique markings, the same hooded sweatshirt, and distinct facial features which were clearly viewed on surveillance video," the release says.

This is a developing story. We will update with more if and when we receive more confirmed information.

RELATED: Officials explain self defense requirements after citizen fatally shoots suspect during alleged armed robbery

Credit: EJ Wiliiams
Credit: EJ Williams

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Updated news release from the Port Arthur Police Department 10/6/2021...

On 9-29-21 at 7:53pm, an aggravated robbery occurred at 4001 Twin City Hwy, Jack-in-the-Box. A B/M actor entered into the business with a handgun and began demanding money from the restaurant’s employees. 

After receiving approximately $200, suspect fled the business on foot. PAPD officers arrived minutes later and were unable to locate the suspect.

On 10-1-21 an aggravated robbery occurred at 1849 Jefferson Dr. While in the commission of this aggravated robbery, one suspect was shot at the scene by a private citizen. This suspect died from his wounds at a local hospital a short time later. The deceased suspect was identified as Richardo Guient B/M (33).

Investigation revealed that the driver of the getaway vehicle was identified as Justin Cunningham W/M (40). This individual was stopped by the Nederland 

Police Department on a traffic stop a short time after the robbery and was arrested for an outstanding felony warrant issued from Hardin County.

Cunningham is currently in the Jefferson County Correctional Facility.

PAPD Criminal Investigations Division continues to follow leads on this fluid investigation.

It is believed that Richardo Guient was the lone suspect in the aggravated robbery that occurred on 09-29-21, at Jack-in-the-Box, located at 4001 Twin City Hwy.

The specific items Guient was found wearing during the Church’s robbery, matched the suspect’s clothing in the Jack-in-the-Box robbery. The armed suspect in both

robberies had on identical gloves with unique markings, the same hooded sweatshirt, and distinct facial features which were clearly viewed on surveillance video

Full release from the Port Arthur Police Department...

On October 1st, 2021 at approximately 8:45pm, officers with the Port Arthur Police Department responded to a report of an Aggravated Robbery at 1849 Jefferson Drive.  Officers discovered that two subjects, armed with handguns, where robbing the restaurant when an armed citizen intervened.  

Several shots were fired and both suspects were struck. The suspects fled the scene and were later located by police officers.       

One of the suspects was pronounced deceased by hospital personnel and the other is currently being treated for their wounds by ER personnel. 

The name of the deceased subject is not being released at this time, pending the notification of next of kin.  The citizen who intervened remained on scene and after being interviewed by Detectives was released. 

The incident is still under active investigation by the Criminal Investigations Division.  Any further questions about the incident should be forwarded to 409-983-8624.

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