Jose Gomez: We Talk with the HPD Cop Who Arrested Him for 1981 Murder
For 30 years he's been living in the Houston area as a prime suspect in the murder, but cops had only a first and last name -- no date of birth, no fingerprints, no other identifiers.
Gomez was even arrested a couple of times in that span, but worked his way through the system without ever being tabbed as the guy wanted for the 1981 murder.
"I'm sure he felt pretty lucky those times," says HPD Lt. Richard Kleczynski.
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Kleczynski is the guy who led the arrest effort. Gomez gave up without incident when HPD came for him in his northside home.
"He was cooperative and wanted to tell his side of the story," Kleczynski says.
Here's HPD's version of what happened 30 years ago when Jose Rodrigo Aguiler was shot to death:
Mr. Aguiler answered the door when Gomez visited him to apologize for an argument that had occured earlier in the evening. According to witnesses, as the two spoke, Gomez pulled a pistol and shot Aguiler. Aguiler began to fall but was caught by his wife, who then observed Gomez running down the stairs. Gomez ran back up the stairs, shot Aguiler a second time in the chest and then fled the scene.
Kleczynski said Gomez was found by investigators in the Harris County DA's office. They have been going through cold-case warrants where no arrests have been made, and using the more sophisticated search tools available today to develop leads and info on anything from DOBs to names of relatives.
"A DA investigator with the [Fugitive Apprehension] Section determined Gomez's birth date, entered this data into the NCIC system, and located him in the Houston area living under an assumed name, Alfredo Garcia," the DA's office said.
"There are a lot more ways to check now," Kleczynski said.
And therefore, 30 years of living quietly, knowing he was wanted for murder, ended for Jose Gomez. Kleczynski said he did not know what jobs Gomez had had to support himself, but noted he had a wife, kids and grandchildren.
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