Dallas restaurant owner killed after helping employee get to safety during apparent robbery

Overnight Wednesday, Dallas police killed an armed man who was wanted for questioning in a recent murder.

Police believe the man they killed may have been involved in the shooting death of 53-year-old Brian Harp.

Harp shielded a fellow employee at Cafe Delicious, telling her to hide when robbers entered his restaurant Wednesday afternoon.

The motive for the deadly shooting appears to be robbery. Police have not said if the robbers and the victim knew one another.

A cook who was inside the cafe at the time of the deadly encounter said they had opened about an hour before the shooting, and were getting ready for lunch.

“He saved my life and he's always going to be my hero,” the cook said when asked about Harp.

The cook, who asked that we not use her name, was working inside Cafe Delicious in South Dallas Wednesday afternoon when she says a group of people, who had their faces hidden, came into the restaurant and shot and killed the owner, Brian Harp.

She said they saw the group approaching the front entrance on store security cameras.

“He said, ‘Looks like someone coming in with a gun, and something going to go down.’ That's when he told me to get in the storage room and I said, ‘No,’ and he pushed me in [the storage room],” she recalled.

[REPORTER: “And shortly after that, you heard gunshot?”] “Yes,” she responded.

Harp was hit by the gunfire. The suspects then took off.

The cook said her son, who was the only other person in the cafe at the time, was not hurt.

Harp, who had a wife, three kids, and several grandkids, later died at the hospital.

“They didn't have to kill this man. Golly, that's sad,” customer Phillip Richardson said. “For them to do something like that, boy, that's sad. That's really sad.”

Wednesday night, Dallas police officers located what they believed to be the suspects’ vehicle parked at an apartment complex off Skillman Street in far northeast Dallas.

At about 12:30 a.m. Thursday, the suspects exited the car as SWAT officers approached, and DPD officials said the suspects tried to flee.

One man was carrying an assault rifle.

During the foot chase, a SWAT officer shot the man who had an assault rifle. He died on scene.

Investigators have not said if the man pointed the rifle at the officer.

Several others were taken into custody for questioning.

MORE: Murder suspect armed with rifle killed in confrontation with Dallas SWAT officer

Harp's sister, who said her brother owned the cafe for 10 years, is devastated.

“I would just like to ask everybody to keep my family in your prayers,” Jacqueline Harp said. “I'm thankful they won't be able to hurt anybody else, but my brother is dead, so there's no coming back from that.”

Police have not said if any of the other people detained on scene have been charged in connection with the robbery and murder of Brian Harp.

His employees are determined to keep his restaurant open.