Criminal JusticeIssuesLocal NewsManhunt Underway for Suspect in Ninth Murder of Harris County Law Enforcement Officer Since 2019

There have been nine law enforcement officers murdered in the Houston and Harris County area since September of 2019.
January 25, 2022
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Houston Police Chief Troy Finner announced Monday that investigators had identified a suspect in the Sunday morning shooting death of Harris County Constable Corporal Charles Galloway.

Shortly after midnight, Galloway pulled over a white Toyota Avalon on Beechnut Street in Houston, but the driver jumped out and immediately shot him multiple times before Galloway had exited his patrol vehicle.

During a Monday press conference along with Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg and Precinct Five Constable Ted Heap, Finner announced that authorities had possession of video that positively identified 51-year-old Oscar Rosales as the man gunning down Galloway.

Finner said multiple law enforcement agencies were engaged in locating Rosales and were looking both in Houston and all along the Texas border. While sharing a photo and requesting community assistance in locating Rosales, Finner added that Rosales was known to dramatically change his appearance. 

“We need the eyes and ears of all of our citizens to help us bring this suspect in custody,” said Finner. “But if you see him, he’s armed and he’s dangerous. We ask that you call [the Houston Police Department] or the local authorities.”

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Rosales has been charged with capital murder and Ogg said when he is apprehended her office will request that he be held without bail.

“He is a bold and incredibly dangerous fugitive,” Ogg warned. “He is on the run, and somebody out there knows where he is.”

Ogg also announced that Rosales’ common law wife Reina Pereira Marquez and her brother Henri Marquez had been arrested and charged with tampering with evidence. 

The district attorney’s office had requested a $250,000 bond for Reina Marquez, and initially Judge DaSean Jones of the 180th Criminal District Court seems to have approved an $850 bond, but both she and Henri have bond set now at $100,000 each and are still in custody.

The Marquez siblings are to appear in court Tuesday and have bail review hearings set for Wednesday. Through the public defender, they have informed authorities they are from El Salvador. 

Galloway is the ninth law enforcement officer to be murdered in the Harris County area since September of 2019 when Deputy Sheriff Sandeep Dhaliwal was shot in the head multiple times by Robert Solis during a traffic stop. 

Of the nine, the November 9, 2020 murder of Houston Police Sergeant Sean Sebastian Rios drew additional public outcry when suspect Robert Soliz was released on a $500,000 bond in March 2021. Last November, that bond was revoked but reissued by the 179th Criminal District Court under Judge Ana Martinez. Only after another arrest for possession of marijuana in distribution amounts did the court move to hold Soliz without bail. 

Other members of law enforcement murdered include Houston Police Sgt. Chris Brewer, Nassau Bay Police Sgt. Kaila Sullivan, Houston Fire Investigator Lemuel “DJ” Bruce, Houston Police Sgt. Harold Lloyd Preston, Houston Police Officer William Jeffrey, and Harris County Constable Precinct 4 Deputy Kareem Atkins. 

Prior to the murder of Dhaliwal, it had been 10 years since Houston officer Henry Canales was killed in a gunfight in June 2009. 

Although violent crime in Harris County spiked last year with more than 600 homicides, reports from the Texas Department of Public Safety and the district attorney’s office document an upward trend that began in 2019 or earlier.  

Ogg and some other community leaders have drawn a correlation with the county’s shift in bail policies beginning in 2019 when local judges revamped bail policies and a federal judge approved a consent decree in the ODonnell v. Harris County lawsuit. ODonnell has formally governed misdemeanor bail policy and mandated county spending on pretrial services for defendants, but a new ruling from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in a similar lawsuit against Dallas County has overruled portions of the Harris County case.   

Combined potential awards for information leading to the arrest of Rosales from Crime Stoppers of Houston, the 100 Club, and Rockets professional basketball team owner Tilman Fertitta come to $60,000. Tips may be reported to Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

Update: The U.S. Marshals Gulf Coast Violent Offenders and Fugitive Task Force working with Mexican authorities arrested Rosales in Ciudad Acuna, across the border from Del Rio, Texas.

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Holly Hansen

Holly Hansen is a freelance writer living in Harris County. Her former column, “All In Perspective” ran in The Georgetown Advocate, Jarrell Star Ledger, and The Hill Country News, and she has contributed to a variety of Texas digital media outlets. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Central Florida with a degree in History, and in addition to writing about politics and policy, also writes about faith and culture.