On September 21, 2006, Houston Police Officer Rodney Johnson was shot and killed while making a routine traffic stop. The man who murdered Officer Johnson was a Mexican national who had been deported seven years earlier.
Officer Johnson stopped a commercial vehicle traveling 20 miles over the posted speed limit. The truck was driven by Juan Leonardo Quintero. A co-worker and Quintero’s two stepdaughters were also in the vehicle.
When Quintero was unable to provide any form of identification, Officer Johnson handcuffed him and placed him in the backseat of his patrol car. Once Johnson was seated behind the wheel again, Quintero, though handcuffed, removed the 9mm handgun concealed in his waistband and began firing at Johnson through the plastic shield separating the front and back seats.
Officer Johnson was shot in the head five times. He was pronounced dead on arrival at a local hospital.
Juan Leonardo Quintero had prior arrests in Houston. He is a convicted child molester and DUI offender. He had been working for a Houston area landscaping company and, despite the DUI conviction, was driving a company vehicle at the time Officer Johnson stopped him.
Clara Rodriguez, who lived in the neighborhood where Johnson patrolled, and knew the officer, stated the following:
He was just so very nice. He was not ever mean. It just breaks my heart. I feel so very bad for his wife. He got up and went to work this morning, and this is what happened. This is what happened to one of the people who protects us, who truly took care of us.
On May 20, 2008, a Houston jury sentenced Quintero to spend the rest of his life in prison.
The owner of the landscaping firm who hired Quintero was also indicted by a federal grand jury. In 2009, Robert Lane Camp pleaded guilty to harboring an illegal alien.
40-year-old Officer Rodney Johnson was a 12-year veteran of the Houston Police Department and a U.S. Army veteran. While serving on the HPD, Johnson received two Lifesaving Awards. He left behind his wife, Joslyn (also a police officer), and five children.
Of course, at the time of Officer Johnson's murder, Houston was officially a 'sanctuary policy, for illegal aliens.
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