09/22/2006

Suspect arraigned in Houston officer's slaying

The Associated Press

HOUSTON- A 32-year-old man was arraigned Friday in Houston in the slaying the day before of a Houston police officer.

The suspect was identified during the arraignment as Juan Leonardo Quintero. He's jailed without bail on a capital murder charge in Thursday's slaying of Officer Rodney Johnson.

Investigators say the 12-year police veteran was shot four times in the back of the head during what had begun as a routine traffic stop near Hobby Airport in southeastern Houston. He died a short time later at a Houston hospital.

Police say the 40-year-old officer had stopped a pickup truck with two people inside and had handcuffed and placed the driver in the back seat his patrol car when he was shot.

Investigators aren't sure why the man was removed from the truck, nor how he came to have a gun. However, they say the suspect had no ID.

Johnson was an Army veteran and former corrections officer. As a member of the department's Southeast Gang Task Force, Johnson earned two Lifesaving Awards and one Medal of Valor from the state of Texas.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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