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Gang Member Accused Of Murdering Police Sergeant While Out On Bond Gets Released On Bond Again

Houston, TX – The career criminal accused of murdering Houston Police Sergeant Sean Rios while out on bond for a weapon-related offense last year has again been released on bond.

Robert Soliz, a 24-year-old gang member, was the subject of a massive manhunt in the wake of the Nov. 9, 2020 shooting death of the 47-year-old police sergeant, KSAT reported.

Soliz was arrested on a murder warrant during a traffic stop on Interstate 10 in west Houston at approximately 3:15 p.m. the following day, and was taken into custody using Sgt. Rios’ handcuffs, KTRK reported.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said the suspect was uncooperative with detectives when they tried to speak with him about the sergeant’s murder, according to KHOU.

Soliz recently managed to post $750,000 bond – $500,000 of which was attached to the murder charge, KTRK reported.

He had to come up with $75,000 in order to walk out of jail, according to KPRC.

The court mandated he remain at home at all times while the case is pending, that he wear a GPS monitor, and that he submit to random drug testing, KPRC reported.

Soliz is due to appear in court on March 23.

His attorney, Paul Looney, told KPRC he was unaware his client had been released from jail.

Houston Police Officers’ Union President Douglas Griffith blasted the accused cop-killer’s release on Twitter on Tuesday.

“I’m am sick and disgusted that this piece of trash was released on any bond after claiming indigent when he was arrested for Killing Sergeant Rios, to get a public defender,” Griffith wrote. “$750,000 in bonds equals 75Thousand to get out. #indigemtmy-ss”

Sgt. Rios was heading to work in his black Kia at approximately 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 9, 2020, when he received a report that shots had been fired and someone was hurt, Chief Acevedo told reporters in the wake of the shooting, according to CNN.

Witnesses told the 911 operator that someone in a white pickup was exchanging gunfire with someone in a blue Mercedes.

Sgt. Rios responded to the 7700-block of Interstate 45 North near West Canino Road and Stuebner Airline Road, where he soon came under fire, KHOU reported.

Witnesses said the shots came from a blue, four-door Mercedes parked across the street, according to police.

Chief Acevedo said Sgt. Rios returned fire before stumbling into the lobby of the Taj Inn & Suites, where he collapsed.

A witness told KTRK that they heard gunshots and then saw a police officer running toward the motel office.

“He was just bleeding everywhere, all over, and just not running right. He entered the office at the motel and he collapsed right in there,” the witness said.

Sgt. Rios was pronounced dead at the scene, Chief Acevedo told reporters.

“We believe there’s a high probability that Sgt. Rios saw that incident between those two vehicles and, sadly, ended up losing his life in trying to intervene,” he said, according to KSAT.

The chief noted that investigators believe Soliz was involved in multiple road-rage incidents involving firearms, KSAT reported.

“We are highly confident that he will be charged with assault with a pistol involving another member of the community that occurred about a month ago,” he noted in the wake of the shooting, according to KPRC.

Chief Acevedo said Soliz is also a documented gang member, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Soliz’s criminal history dates back to at least 2014, according to KTRK.

He has been arrested on multiple occasions in the past on charges ranging from criminal trespass and evading arrest to threatening to murder his girlfriend, among others.

Soliz was out on $100 bail for allegedly unlawfully carrying a weapon in a motor vehicle at the time of Sgt. Rios’ murder, KTRK reported.

That incident occurred on Feb. 15, 2020.

According to Mary Nan Huffman, who ran for Harris County District Attorney in the 2020 election, Soliz had also been charged with other gun offenses in the past.

Sgt. Rios, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, served the Houston Police Department (HPD) for 25 years, KHOU reported.

He leaves behind his four children, ages 9, 12, 14, and 17.

Sgt. Rios is also survived by his parents, brother, and two cousins who are also HPD officers, according to CNN.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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