‘Emotions run hot’: Attorney of suspect in HPD sergeant’s slaying wants case investigated by outside agency

BELLVILLE, Texas – An attorney representing the man who has been charged in connection with the death of a Houston police sergeant earlier this week said Wednesday that the way his client was arrested shows that the Houston Police Department is the wrong agency to investigate the case.

Robert Soliz, 24, was arrested Tuesday and charged with murder in connection with Monday’s slaying of HPD Sgt. Sean Rios, a 25-year veteran of the department, along the North Freeway.

Attorney Paul Looney said he had been in contact with law enforcement officials on Tuesday, who were aware that he was driving to Houston to turn Soliz, his client, over to authorities. Looney said that while he was driving on Interstate 10 Katy Freeway, he was surrounded by a fleet of law enforcement vehicles that forced him to pull over. He said that a “sea of shotguns” was pointed at him and Soliz before they took Soliz into custody.

Looney said that action indicates that HPD is not the agency that should be investigating the case.

“Whenever you are that close to the situation, your emotions run hot and your logic runs short,” Looney said.

Looney said he believes the Harris County Sheriff’s Office or the Texas Rangers, the state’s investigative agency, should take over the case.

“When it is referred to a neutral agency without a conflict of interest, the quality skyrockets,” Looney said. “All any of us want here is the right thing to be done.”

Investigators said they believe Rios was killed during a shootout while intervening in an earlier exchange of gunfire between two vehicles on the freeway.

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