A Houston police officer who took his own life Tuesday afternoon was the subject of an HPD Internal Affairs investigation and relieved of duty before he shot himself in his patrol car, according to an HPD spokesperson.
Rudolph Farias' body was discovered inside his patrol car in a city-owned parking garage. Police believe the 21-year veteran traffic enforcement officer completed his court assignment, then drove to the garage and shot himself.
Local 2 News has learned that officers Farias, Robert Manzanales, John Garcia and Gregory Rosa are accused of working together in an alleged ticket writing scheme by listing each other as witnessing officers on traffic citations in order to collect overtime by appearing in court to testify.
The four officers were told Tuesday afternoon they were all being administratively relieved of duty so the internal affairs investigation into alleged criminal activity could run its course.
"I have no new information on the investigation having to do with whether tickets were inappropriately altered to show other people being present that weren't there," Mayor Annise Parker said.
"If, in fact, they are alleged to have done anything that's in the course and scope of their job, they are innocent until proven guilty and they will be represented by this organization," said Ray Hunt, president of the Houston Police Officer's Union.
It's unclear if the investigation had any bearing on the officer's decision to take his own life. The shooting remains under investigation.
Hunt and Parker both said any time they lose an officer it's like losing a family member.
Farias was married for 17 years and leaves behind a wife and four sons. Those who knew him say he was well-liked and respected, and a great husband and father.