Motel manager recalls slain HPD sergeant's last moments

Courtney Fischer Image
Wednesday, November 11, 2020
Motel manager recalls HPD sergeant's last moments
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FIRST LOOK: ABC13 went inside the motel where a veteran HPD sergeant stumbled for help after being shot multiple times. These are the last words the officer said to the manager.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A motel manager is describing what he saw moments after 47-year-old HPD sergeant Sean Rios was fatally shot.

Sideharth Gandhi, manager at the Taj Inn & Suites, talked to ABC13 Tuesday, the day after Rios, a 25-year veteran of the Houston Police Department, died.

Rios was killed in the 7900 block of the North Freeway after police say he engaged a suspect in a gun battle. After he was shot multiple times, Rios ran into the motel looking for help and collapsed. He was declared dead at the scene.

Gandhi said he was in the back office when he heard four shots, followed by a door opening and Rios yelling for help. Gandhi said Rios was covered in blood. The manager told ABC13 he didn't know at the time Rios was an officer since he was in plain clothes and that Rios never identified himself as such.

Gandhi recalled Rios repeatedly saying, "Call 911," before he collapsed

Surveillance video, according to Gandhi, shows Rios stumbling into the motel and asking for help, but it never captured the vehicles connected to the shooting.

"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," a witness said Monday.

WATCH: Witness describes scene of HPD officer shot

About 24 hours after Rios died, police announced the arrest after 24-year-old Roberto Soliz. They are also looking for a person of interest in the case.

"We are going to catch you," Acevedo said on Monday. "Do yourself a favor and turn yourself in."

Acevedo added that Rios was headed to the airport for his 2 p.m. shift when he was involved in the shootout. Rios leaves behind four children.

Rios' killing is one of several homicides to take place in Houston on Monday. It is also the second Houston police officer killed in three weeks, and the fourth Houston police officer killed in 12 months.

On Oct. 20, Houston Police Sgt. Harold Preston was shot and killed while responding to a domestic violence situation. The 41-year veteran of the department, who was preparing to retire this year, was laid to rest on Oct. 30.

Anyone with information on the suspects' whereabouts is urged to contact Crime Stoppers at 713-222-8477 or 911.

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