HOUSTON – A veteran Houston police sergeant who was fatally shot last week while trying to intervene during a shootout was remembered Wednesday as a leader who dedicated his life to his family and community.
Family and friends attended a funeral service for Sean Rios, 47, at a Houston church. He had been a Houston police officer since February 1996.
On Nov. 9, Rios was on his way to work when he encountered an exchange of gunfire between two vehicles near Interstate 45 in north Houston.
Police Chief Art Acevedo has said investigators believe Rios saw the shootout and was killed trying to intervene when he was shot.
During the funeral service, Acevedo said Rios’ decision to try to stop the shootout was an example of his dedication to helping others.
“Let’s honor his life by living a life like he lived, one of service and courage and a never quit attitude,” Acevedo said.
Brian Harris, a retired Houston police officer and friend of Rios, recalled the slain sergeant as someone who was welcoming and made others feel at ease.
“We all love you Sean Rios and we’ll see you on the other side,” Harris said.
Robert Soliz, 24, was arrested the day after the shooting and charged with murder in Rios’ death.
Police said they were still looking for a person of interest in the case.
Rios was the second Houston officer to be killed in the past four weeks and the fourth since last December. Sgt. Harold Preston was shot and killed on Oct. 20 while responding to a domestic violence situation. The 41-year veteran of the department was preparing to retire this year.