Rodney Johnson, a 40 year old police officer, served the people of Houston for 12 years. He was honored for his outstanding service with two HPD Lifesaving Awards and the Texas Medal of Valor. Johnson was a warm, kind-hearted family man who loved his job by all accounts. He “believed he could make life better for others” and he died while serving his community. (1) Officer Johnson was murdered by Juan Leonardo Quintero, an illegal alien.
On September 21, 2006, Officer Rodney Johnson stopped a car driven by Quintero for going 50 mph in a 30 mph zone. Driving without a license, Officer Johnson hand-cuffed Quintero, did a pat down search and placed him the rear seat of his patrol car. He was wearing layered clothing and Officer Johnson missed the 9mm pistol in his waistband. Quintero managed to extract the gun and shoot Rodney Johnson multiple times in the head and back as he sat in the front seat. Though fatally wounded, Officer Johnson was able to push the emergency button. Witnesses said Quintero shouted racial slurs and profanities. (2)
It was estimated 4000 people attended Officer Rodney Johnson’s funeral. (1) Amber, his oldest child, was saddened her father would not be around to see her graduate or to give her away on her wedding day. Johnson is survived by his wife and fellow officer, Joslyn, 5 children and his mother. (1)
Quintero was sentence to life in prison on May 20, 2008, by a Houston jury. Johnson’s family and many in the HPD were shocked and devastated that Quintero did not receive the death penalty. (3)
Juan Leonardo Quintero had been arrested for priors. In 1998 he was given probation for ‘indecency with a minor’ and was deported in 1999. He had several DWI convictions. (3) Quintero was issued an ID by the state of Texas following his re-entry into the United States.
1. Thousands Honor Slain Officer at Memorial
2. Trial for Accused Cop Underway
3. Frustration as illegal immigrant given life for killing Houston police officer