By Mystic Matthews
LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - At 10:36 Sunday night, restaurant manager Katie Jeffreys left Catfish King with the night deposit after closing up.
Her boyfriend, Keith Labrozzi, had come to pick her up and their next stop was the bank. But they never made it. A robber surprised them with gunfire in the parking lot.
"Mr. Labrozzi had a concealed handgun permit and he was armed. He exchanged gunfire with the suspect. Mr. Labrozzi had several gunshot wounds and died a short time later at the hospital," says LT. David Young with the Lufkin Police.
Young says Labrozzi fired at the suspect, 19-year-old Brian Martin Womack of Hudson, hitting him in the stomach.
Katie Jeffreys was shot in the foot, but managed to crawl under her SUV and call 911 before trying to give her boyfriend CPR.
Karen Smith, who is an assistant manager at Catfish King is just beside herself.
"I'm a heart on my sleeve type person. Anybody that asks me about it, like now, it's just hard. And I can imagine what Katie is going through," says Smith.
Womack dropped his gun before fleeing the scene, but he was found less than a block away after collapsing in a ditch near Ford Chapel Road.
The investigation began late last night and continued this afternoon.
Young says, "You want to make sure you cover all the bases. It is a business and when they open up, if there is any evidence left, it could be lost in traffic."
Womack is still in the hospital under 24-hour police surveillance. Once doctors release him, he will go straight to jail.
Womack has been in police custody since they found him last night, but officers aren't releasing which hospital he's in for security reasons.
He has been charged with the capital murder of Keith Labrozzi who leaves behind two young children.
Smith says they will just "take it each day at a time. Take it the best we can. With the new security guard we are hoping things will turn around for us."
Catfish King will now have a security guard on duty when they close.
We checked with local banks to get their suggestions on staying safe when making night deposits.
It may seem easy to drop off a deposit after hours, but as we learned from the shooting at Catfish King, it's not always safe.
Banks urge customers to do one of several things when making a night deposit. First, call the police department for a free escort to the bank. Or, invest in a safe to keep deposits over night, then make the trip to bank the next day during daylight hours.
The other option is to hire an armored truck to come to the business and take the deposit.