The Houston Police Department is grieving the death of its fourth police officer this year. Twenty-five-year veteran Sgt. Sean Rios died in a gunfight on Monday, according to KTRK News.
The 47-year-old officer was shot several times on his way to the airport for the start of his shift. Though the suspect is still at large and the investigation still in process, Police Chief Art Acevedo told reporters that Rios ran to a nearby hotel for help. He later died at the scene.
“We will never forget him and will see his 4 children, family and friends through this painful loss,” Acevedo said in a tweet.
Our hearts are broken over the death of @houstonpolice Sergeant Sean Rios who was shot and killed during an exchange of gunfire this afternnon. We will never forget him and will see his 4 children, family and friends through this painful loss. RIP pic.twitter.com/QBHx2bymWY— Chief Art Acevedo (@ArtAcevedo) November 10, 2020
Rios leaves behind four children, ages 17, 14, 12, and 9 years old. His fellow police officers paid tribute to the respected Sergeant on Monday evening.
A friend praised Rios as a “dedicated father” who attended his kid’s wrestling matches and other school events.
Mayor Sylvester Turner has petitioned the Houston community to “pray for this city because this has been a crazy year,” CBN News reports.
“People are going through a whole lot, experiencing a whole lot,” he 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.”
Earlier this year, three other HPD members were killed in the line of duty. Sgt. Harold Preston was killed while responding to a domestic dispute. He was planning on retiring this year after 41 years in service.
Office Jason Knox died in May 2020 when an HPD helicopter crashed. And, late last year, Sgt. Christopher Brewster was also killed in a confrontation with a domestic violence suspect.
According to Officer Down Memorial Page, over 50 officers in the state of Texas have died this year from COVID-19 complications, gunfire, or vehicular assault.
Photo courtesy: ©David Mark/Pixabay
Mikaela Mathews is a freelance writer and editor based in Dallas, TX. She was the editor of a local magazine and a contributing writer for the Galveston Daily News and Spirit Magazine.