The Mayor of Houston told people to pray for the city after another police officer died as a result of a gunfight that happened on Monday.
Sgt. Sean Rios got engaged in a gunfight that occurred near the 7700 North Freeway. After being shot several times during the incident, Rios was able to run to a nearby hotel, Taj Inn & Suites, but eventually passed away, KTRK News reported.
The 25-year-old police officer is the fourth officer from the Houston Police Department to die while in the line of duty this year. His death came just three weeks after another officer, Sgt. Harold Preston, was also shot and killed while responding to a call last Oct. 20, CBN News reported.
Police Chief Art Acevedo honored Rios and called that unfortunate development a painful loss. Rios leaves behind four children.
Friends likewise paid tribute to the fallen officer, calling him a dedicated father. Rios would find time to look over his children, aged 17, 14, 12 and 9, including wrestling matches and school events.
With yet another officer getting killed, Mayor Sylvester Turner has called on the community to pray for the city. It has been a crazy year in the city with the Mayor pointing out that a lot is going on in the streets and some people on the edge.
"I want people in this city to pray for this city. Because this has been a crazy year. People are going through a whole lot, experiencing a whole lot," Mayor Turner said. "A lot of things are happening on our streets, a lot of people who are on edge. So I just want people to pray for our city."
A suspect tied to the Rios shooting has already been identified and arrested. The suspect was identified as Robert Soliz, a 24-year-old who is also suspected to be involved in a series of road rage shootings per Acevedo, ABC News reported.
Soliz was apprehended after a police department narcotics tactical team conducted a felony traffic stop. Since being taken into custody, Acevedo added that Soliz has been "uncooperative."
However, Soliz may not be the only person behind the shooting. Acevedo added that they are still searching for a person with extreme interest spotted in security footage speaking with Soliz in a parking lot. The person appeared to point his finger as if shooting.
"And I have a message for this individual: The video we're going to show the community is clear," Acevedo said. "The person, when they see themselves, they'll know who they are, but they're going to know that other people know who this person is."
"We're going to find you. You might as well turn yourself in," Acevedo added.
Deaths among police officers
Houston saw several other officers pass away since January. Aside from Preston, who was planning to retire this year, and Rios, two other officers were killed in the line of duty.
Officer Jason Knox died when a Houston Police Department helicopter crash back in May. Also killed during a confrontation while handling a domestic dispute was Sgt. Christopher Brewster late last year.
According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, there have roughly been over 50 officers in the state of Texas who have died this year. Most succumbed to COVID-19, gunfire or vehicular assault.