HOUSTON, Texas — A search continues for a gunman who allegedly fatally shot a Houston Police Department officer on Monday afternoon.
Around 1:30 p.m., Houston Police Department Sergeant Sean Rios, 47, was on his way into work when he became involved in what Chief Art Acevedo described as a "gun battle" with a suspect in the 7900 block of Interstate 45 North Freeway.
Acevedo says Rios was shot during that gun battle and ran into the lobby of a nearby motel seeking help where he collapsed and was later pronounced deceased.
"Our hearts are broken over the death of HPD Sergeant Sean Rios who was shot and killed during an exchange of gunfire this afternnon," stated Acevedo. "We will never forget him and will see his 4 children, family and friends through this painful loss. RIP"
Investigators are still working to determine what led to the shooting, according to Acevedo.
"Do yourself a favor and turn yourself in, because we are going to catch you," Acevedo said during a news conference on Monday afternoon.
Police say they are searching for a Hispanic male in his mid- to late-20s, heavily tattooed, who is believed to be the shooter.
Acevedo says investigators are continuing to follow leads in the case and have identified two vehicles possibly involved in the incident — a blue four-door Mercedes, which has been located, and a black pickup truck.
Rios was a 25-year veteran of the Houston Police Department, a husband, and father to four children. His death also marks the fourth line-of-duty death for the Houston Police Department in the past 11 months.
“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,” stated Texas Governor Greg Abbott. “The State of Texas stands ready to assist the Houston Police Department in bringing those responsible for this heinous crime to justice.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the Houston Crime Stoppers at (713) 222-8477.