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Houston police sergeant killed during shootout along North Freeway, chief says

A Houston police sergeant was killed Monday after engaging in a shootout along a freeway in north Houston, according to Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo.
A Houston police sergeant was killed Monday after engaging in a shootout along a freeway in north Houston, according to Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo.

HOUSTON – A Houston police sergeant was killed Monday during a shootout along the North Freeway, according to Houston police chief Art Acevedo.

The shooting was reported about 1:30 p.m. on the outbound side feeder road of Interstate 45 North Freeway near the Little York Road exit.

Acevedo said investigators are still trying to determine why Sgt. Sean Rios, 47, a 25-year veteran of HPD, engaged someone in a gun battle. He said Rios was hit during the exchange of gunfire and ran to a nearby motel for help. Rios collapsed and died at the scene, Acevedo said.

RELATED READ: Who was Sgt. Sean Rios?

Two vehicles -- a blue 4-door Mercedes and a black pickup -- were involved in the incident, according to Acevedo. He said the Mercedes has been located, but police are still looking for the pickup and people who may have been involved in the incident.

Acevedo said officers are also looking for a Hispanic man who is in his mid- to late 20s and heavily tattooed. He said that man is believed to be the shooter. On Tuesday, sources said that a person had been taken into custody in connection with the shooting.

An earlier tweet by the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable’s Office that indicated a person believed to be connected to the shooting had surrendered to officers has been deleted.

Acevedo said Rios was on his way to work when the shootout happened.

The chief asked anyone with information about the case to call Houston Crime Stoppers at 713-222-8477.

Rios' death marks the fifth homicide in Houston on Monday. Acevedo said Rios' death also marks the fourth line-of-duty death for the Houston Police Department since December.

Gov. Greg Abbott released the following statement on his death:

“With heavy hearts, Cecilia and I ask our fellow Texans to join us in prayer for the family, colleagues, and friends of Sergeant Sean Rios in their time of need,” said Governor Abbott. “The State of Texas stands ready to assist the Houston Police Department in bringing those responsible for this heinous crime to justice.”

Houston police Chief Art Acevedo and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner provide an update on the death of Houston police Sgt. Sean Rios.
Houston police Chief Art Acevedo and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner provide an update on the death of Houston police Sgt. Sean Rios.

About the Author:

Aaron Barker has been a senior digital editor at KPRC 2 since 2016. As a meteorologist, he specializes in stories about the weather. He has covered Hurricane Harvey, the Astros first World Series win, the Santa Fe High School shooting, the ITC fire and Tropical Storm Imelda.