September 17, 2021 10:15

Houston police sergeant fatally shot, suspect remains at large

A veteran Houston police sergeant was fatally shot Monday in north Houston, police said.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo identified the officer as Sgt. Sean Rios, a 47-year-old father of four. He is a 25-year veteran of the force.

A shooter remains at large. The incident was first reported around 1:30 p.m. near a motel in the 7800 block of Interstate 45, near Shepherd north of downtown Houston.

“Please keep our Sgt who was shot and killed this afternoon in your thoughts and prayers, along with their family and all Houston Police Officers,” Houston Police Officers Union President Joe Gamaldi said on Twitter. “We will not stop until we find the monster/monsters responsible.”

Doug Griffith, the police union’s vice president, said the slain officer was on his way to work at Bush Intercontinental Airport, where he worked the afternoon shift, when the shooting occurred.

Ghasan Azar was going to check the mail at his business at a North Freeway business park when he heard gunfire. As he walked along the frontage road, he then saw an officer appearing to run.

“I saw the way he was running. He was not running right,” Azar said.

He saw the officer stagger  into a motel office.  He followed the officer and the manager told him to leave. He then saw the officer collapse.

The northbound frontage road lane is blocked near the scene. Traffic is heavy on the highway between North Shepherd and Little York.

The killing comes less than a month after the shooting deaths of two other Houston peace officers: Lemuel Bruce and Harold Preston. Bruce, an arson investigator with the Houston Fire Department, was shot and killed Oct. 16 by arson suspect Joshua De La Cerda in Houston’s Timbergrove neighborhood, where Bruce had been investigating a recent string of fires. De La Cerda died by suicide, authorities said.

Preston, a 41-year veteran of the Houston Police Department, was killed Oct. 20 while  responding to a domestic dispute at an apartment complex on Holly Hall, about half a mile south of the Medical Center.

Police say Elmer Manzano shot Preston and another officer, Courtney Waller, as they responded to a dispute between Manzano and his wife at the apartment.

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©2020 the Houston Chronicle

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