Deadly Gas Station Robbery Was A Scam So Fake Victims Could Stay In America

By Bill Galluccio

April 9, 2024

William Winfrey
Photo: Houston Police Department

Authorities in Texas said that a gas station robbery in January that turned deadly was part of a hoax to allow the fake victims to file for a special visa that would allow them to stay in the United States while the case was resolved.

The Houston Police Department said that 22-year-old Rasshuud Scott "pretended" to rob two people at a Swift gas station on January 27. However, a bystander intervened and fatally shot Scott before fleeing the scene.

The bystander was later identified as Jesus Vargas. He told police he was not involved in the hoax and fled the scene because he was on probation and was not allowed to have a gun.

While investigating the robbery, detectives found messages between Scott and his accomplice, William Winfrey, in which they discussed the plan to stage the robbery so the victims could apply for a U-visa.

The U-visa program allows victims of a crime to remain in the U.S. and get a work permit while the criminal case is resolved. The program can be helpful to police so that crime victims can come forward and don't have to leave the country in the middle of a criminal investigation.

Authorities said that Scott and Winfrey committed similar crimes dating back to 2023.

Winfrey has been charged with murder in connection to Scott's death. Officials did not identify the robbery victims or if they would face charges for filing false U-visa applications.

A grand jury is currently deciding whether Vargas should be charged for shooting Winfrey.

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