MMA Fighters Disable Gunman Who Fired Shot at Sushi Restaurant

A potential crisis was avoided Monday night at a Houston restaurant after a man entered the building, allegedly fired a gun into the ceiling and was soon after subdued by two men who have since been identified as mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters, Houston police said.

Police said around 11:30 p.m. Monday night, they received multiple 911 calls from inside the RA Sushi restaurant about hearing a gunshot as well as a panic alarm that was set off by someone inside the building.

Kevin Holland and his training partner Patrick Robinson heard the shot and were able to subdue the suspect and get the gun away from him by the time police arrived, according to WFAA-TV. In fact, Holland has been involved with stopping crimes before, as Ariel Helwani, a reporter who covers the UFC and fighting world tweeted that in October, Holland reportedly subdued another suspect who had stolen a car.

Holland said at the time in an appearance on Helwani's MMA talk show that he was driving and saw a car speed out of a parking lot, followed by a man who ran out after it shouting that his car was being stolen. He said that he called the police and followed the car until it got into an accident, totaling the car, and subdued the man until police arrived.

Holland is a UFC fighter with a 22-7 record, and won his last fight against Alex Oliviera on March 5, according to his ESPN page. He posted to his Instagram story Monday night, showing several police cars with flashing lights outside the restaurant where the incident took place along with a subsequent story with the caption "He's ok, I'm ok, We're ok," likely referring to the gunman, himself and the 40-50 people police estimated were inside the restaurant, none of which were injured. MMA Junkie later shared the post via Twitter.

The 24-year-old gunman allegedly entered the building and fired a shot into the ceiling before being disarmed and "taken into custody" by Holland and Robinson, and police said Monday that he was already wanted for a failure to appear in court for a criminal mischief misdemeanor.

A police spokesperson told reporters Monday night that he may be charged with possession of a stolen gun and discharging the firearm.

"If it wasn't for the quick thinking of a good Samaritan taking that gun away, who knows what could have happened, multiple people could've been injured out here," Houston police officer Ricardo Salas told the media. "We're very thankful the citizen helped us out, knew that there was something going on and took quick action and stopped anyone from getting injured."

He said the suspect's motive for the shooting is currently unknown but did confirm that the suspect was in possession of drugs when he was taken into custody so it's possible he may have been under the influence, and he said the man had not been cooperative in talking to police as of Monday night.

"We were eating, and the next thing you know, a gunshot just popped off. So everything paused and then everybody started running to get down under a table," Robinson, Holland's training partner, said according to KTRK-TV.

Newsweek reached out to Kevin Holland and RA Sushi for comment but didn't hear back in time for publication.

Update 3/15/22, 6:44 p.m. ET: This story has been updated with additional information.

Kevin Holland UFC Houston Gunman Police
Kevin Holland and a training partner helped stop a gunman in a Houston restaurant Monday night. Above, Holland celebrates his TKO victory over Alex Oliveira of Brazil after their fight during UFC 272 at T-Mobile Arena on March 05, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. David Becker/Getty Images