Report: ‘Person of interest’ in fatal shooting of sergeant should not have been out on bond

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HOUSTON, TX – Authorities have identified the “person of interest” wanted for questioning in connection to the fatal shooting of Houston Police Sgt. Sean Rios. 

The suspect, identified as 24-year-old Jason Frank Vasquez, has a detailed criminal history and, according to court documents, was not supposed to be free on the day Sgt. Rios was killed. Police said Vasquez is the individual in surveillance video footage talking with Robert Soliz, 24, shortly after investigators say Soliz shot and killed Sgt. Rios.

Doug Griffith, friend and colleague of Sgt. Rios, who is also the vice president of the Houston Police Officers’ Union, said in a statement:

“I’ve known Sean for many, many years. It’s truly heartbreaking that we’re having to stick another one of our brothers in the ground over a needless incident.”

According to reports, Vasquez has been wanted by police for some time, since having both of his PR bonds revoked. Back in September 2019, Vasquez was arrested for DWI on two separate occasions. However, both times he was let out of jail on his own recognizance.

Andy Kahan with the Houston CrimeStoppers said:

“Which makes absolutely zero sense because you’re already out on a bond. So, now he’s out on two bonds.”

Court documents show that Vasquez had both of his bonds revoked after failing to report to pre-trial services and for being a “no-show” for several urinalysis tests. Kahan said in a statement:

“But the one time he did, he was positive for cocaine, alcohol, and marijuana, which is another violation of his now multiple bonds.”

Griffith added:

“I understand we don’t want to keep people incarcerated because they’re poor, I understand that, but there comes a point and time when you have to realize these criminals are not going to change. The only way you can keep the community safe is (by) keeping them locked up.”

Reportedly, crime has been going up steadily the last few years in Houston and in Harris County and a lot of it stems from the new bail reform. Criminals know they can get out tomorrow if they are incarcerated today.

Griffith said:

“Just please keep the Rios family in your prayers. He’s out trying to protect the community and loses his life. It’s heartbreaking for his children, who are very young and they’ve got a long way to go. Just please keep the family in your prayers.”

According to police, Soliz has been charged with murder. Vasquez, on the other hand, has not been charged with a crime at this time. According to the probable cause statement made by prosecutors, on November 9, Soliz and Sgt. Rios got into a shootout at a business near the Taj Inn Suites just off the North Freeway around 1:30 p.m.

Prosecutors said Soliz was inside of the shop shooting at Sgt. Rios, who fired back at Soliz. After the shooting, Soliz drove his car to a transmission shop that belonged to a family member. Soliz then left the shop with a man in a black Chevy truck, who police have now identified as Vasquez.

Surveillance video captured Soliz and Vasquez talking about the shooting. The video recorded Soliz saying, “my (expletive) jammed, and he almost hit me.” Soliz was then taken into custody during a traffic stop the following day, November 10. 

Sgt. Rios’ death was the seventh murder to have taken place in the city of Houston on Monday, November 9. It is also the second Houston police officer killed in three weeks and the fourth Houston police officer killed in 12 months. 

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Police arrest suspect in the murder of Houston police sergeant – a repeat felon who was out on a low bond

November 10, 2020

HOUSTON, TX – For the second time in less than three weeks, gunfire has led the Houston Police Department is mourning the loss of one of their own. Sgt. Sean Rios was shot and killed on Monday afternoon.  And it looks like the suspect was a repeat felon.

It’s no shock that the man who murdered Sgt. Rios was out on bond (the media failed to mention that).
Robert…

Posted by Mary Nan Huffman on Tuesday, November 10, 2020

We brought you what we knew at the time of the murder(that story is below), but Tuesday saw an arrest made.

Robert Soliz, a 24-year-old male was taken into custody after being pulled over for a routine traffic violation near Katy, one of the western most Houston suburbs.

The arrest came roughly 24 hours after the death of Rios.

His death occurred when he reportedly tried to intervene in an exchange of gunfire between two vehicles near I-45 and Little York Road. According to Houston Police Chief, Art Acevedo, Rios was on his way to work at the airport. 

“We do have 911 calls indicating exchange of gunfire between a white pickup truck and a Mercedes Benz matching the description of the vehicle that we have in police custody, and that’s the suspect’s vehicle,” HPD Chief Art Acevedo said.

“We believe there’s a high probability that Sgt. Rios saw that incident between these two vehicles and, sadly, he ended up losing his life in trying to intervene on that surface street.” 

According to ABC 13, Soliz was arrested earlier this year for unlawfully carrying a weapon in a motor vehicle. He was released on a $100 bail. He was alleged to have threatened to kill his then-girlfriend back in 2017.  

After being shot, Rios ran into the Taj Inn & Suites motel looking for help and collapsed. The Houston Fire Department responded and immediately began life-saving measure, but he was sadly pronounced dead at the scene. 

Report: 'Person of interest' in fatal shooting of sergeant should not have been out on bond
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A witness who heard the shots, told ABC 13: 

“He was just bleeding everywhere, all over, and just not running right. He entered the office at the motel and he collapsed right in there.” 

HPD officials believe that Soliz is tied to multiple road rage incidents in the Houston area. 

And, while authorities believe that they have the shooter in custody, they are also seeking a second person of interest. HPD issued a tweet with a video showing Soliz and the second individual they are looking for.

“The male in the black shirt is wanted in connection with the murder of Sgt. Sean Rios. The suspect in the white shirt is Robert Soliz, who is currently in custody. If you have information, please contact HPD Homicide 713-308-3600 or @CrimeStopHOU  at 713-222-TIPS #hounews”

The thoughts and prayers of all of us at Law Enforcement Today go out to the family and friends of Sgt. Rios as well as his HPD family. 

The department tweeted a video of the escort provided taking 47-year-old Sgt. Rios to the medical examiner’s office. 

 

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