'Person of Interest' in HPD Sgt.'s death shouldn't have been out on bond: documents

We now know the name and the criminal history of the "person of interest" wanted for questioning in the fatal shooting of HPD Sgt. Sean Rios.

A quick look at court documents and it's right there in black and white, Jason Frank Vasquez wasn't even supposed to be a free man on the day Sgt. Rios was killed.

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Houston Police say Vasquez is in surveillance video talking with Robert Soliz shortly after investigators say Soliz shot and killed HPD Sgt. Sean Rios on the North Freeway. 

"I've known Sean for many, many years. It's truly heartbreaking that we're having to stick another one of our brothers in the ground over a needless incident,” says friend and colleague Doug Griffith, who's also the Vice President with the Houston Police Officer's Union.

HPD has named Vasquez a "person of interest" wanted for questioning in last Monday's fatal shooting. In fact, Vazquez has been wanted by police for some time, since having both of his PR bonds revoked. 

Person of interest identified in death of Houston police sergeant

Houston police are looking for Jason Frank Vazquez, a person of interest in the death of HPD Sgt. Sean Rios. They say Vazquez was seen driving a black Chevrolet pickup truck and speaking with suspect Robert Soliz after the deadly shooting.

Vazquez was arrested for DWI two different times in September 2019 but both times he was let out of jail on his own recognizance. 

“Which makes absolutely zero sense because you're already out on a bond. So now he's out on two bonds,” says Andy Kahan with Houston CrimeStoppers.

"I understand we don't want to keep people incarcerated because they're poor, I understand that but there comes a point and time when you have to realize these criminals are not going to change. The only way you can keep the community safe is keep them locked up,” says Griffith.

More charges for alleged cop killer, person of interest still unidentified

Murder suspect Robert Soliz, 24, appeared again in court Thursday, three days after allegedly shooting and killing Sgt. Rios. This time he got two additional charges of aggravated assault for separate previous incidents with victims in January and October. That increased his bond amount to $700,000.

As court documents show, Vazquez had both bonds revoked after failing to report to pre-trial services and not showing up for several urinalysis tests. 

“But the one time he did, he was positive for cocaine, alcohol, and marijuana, which is another violation of his now multiple bonds,” Kahan explains.

“Crime has been going up steadily the last few years in Houston and Harris County and a lot of it stems from this bail reform. Criminals know they can get out tomorrow if they're incarcerated today.

Just please keep the Rios family in your prayers. He's out trying to protect the community and loses his life. It's heartbreaking for his children, who are very young, and they've got a long way to go. Just please keep the family in your prayers,” says Griffith.