HOUSTON – The man accused of hitting and killing a Houston police officer in north Houston Sunday was found to be an illegal immigrant, under the influence and carrying drugs, according to authorities.
Investigators said Johoan Rodriguez, 26, had a blood-alcohol level of.238, which is three times the legal limit, and had cocaine in his pocket when he struck and killed Officer Kevin Will.
Authorities said Will was interviewing the witness of a motorcycle accident on the 610 North Loop near Yale around 2:15 a.m. when the driver of a Volkswagen Beetle plowed through a police barricade.
Police said Will saw the car heading towards them, yelled at the man he was talking to get out of the way and pushed him to jump over a short wall before the officer was hit. Will died at the scene.
Will, 38, is survived by his wife – who is six months pregnant – and two children, 6 and 10.
"Officer Will was a very, very respected officer, young, energetic, his co-workers cared about him and he got along with everybody," said HPD Chief Charles McClelland.
Will was sworn in with HPD in September 2009. Saturday was his one-year anniversary with the vehicular crimes division, police said.
Rodriguez was transported to the hospital and treated for minor injuries before he was taken to the Harris County Jail. He was charged with intoxication manslaughter, felony evading and possession of a controlled substance. An immigration hold was also placed on him.
Court records show that after being deported once to Mexico, Rodriguez attempted to gain entry again in Hidalgo County. In the federal court document, it says he was “claiming that he had been born in Houston, Texas. The defendant presented a Texas drivers license to back his claim.”
Sometime after that, Rodriguez managed to get back across the border.
Joclyn Johnson’s husband, Officer Rodney Johnson, was murdered by an illegal immigrant in 2006.
“It kind of brings back all the emotions that I have when this happened with my husband,” Johnson said. “Yes, there is a level of anger I feel. I just hate that this keeps occurring and our police officers keep getting killed by illegal aliens.”
Ray Hunt with the Houston Police Officer’s Union said this incident is adding fire to the immigration debate.
“Once again, this peels that scab off one more time on the problem we have in Houston, Texas with the illegal immigrants,” he said.