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In a phone call hours before he tried to rob a Mexican eatery, 30-year-old Eric Eugene Washington promised his mother, Corine Goodman, he would do better.

Hours later, on Jan. 5, Washington was shot 9 times by a customer while robbing the Ranchito #4 Taqueria in southwest Houston.

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Washington’s mother spoke with FOX 26 News on Tuesday. She said her son was trying to do better after getting out of prison and welcoming a newborn son 4 months ago.

Goodman said she knew he was struggling financially but she never knew how desperate he was.

“What he did I don’t condone. I don’t,” she said. “He knew better. He never said anything or made me think he would go this route.”

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In 2015, Washington was convicted of aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon in connection to the shooting death of a 62-year-old store owner.

“He was there. He did not kill their father, but he was there and their father got killed. And that I am sorry for,” Goodman said. “I never got to say that to them but I’m sorry for that.”

Washington was sentenced to 15 years in prison. He served 7 years and was released on parole.

In December 2022, Washington was charged with assaulting his baby mama and later bonded out of jail.

“He’s not the monster people picture him to be,” said Goodman, who has questions for the customer who killed her son.

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“I don’t hate him… but I wanna know why didn’t you stop?” she said through tears. “You abused him. He was dead already. And that hurts.”

The customer was questioned by police and released without charges. His attorney said he feared for his life and acted in self-defense. The lawyer said taking a human life was “traumatic” for his client, “and something that will burden him for the rest of his life.”

Watch the video below.