UPDATE September 19, 2014, 9:00 a.m.: Tickets written by Rudolph Farias, along with three other officers, have been been dismissed. In light of an internal investigation into charges that the officers ran a ticket-rigging scam, bilking the department for thousands of dollars in overtime pay, HPD and the city attorney's office have opted to dismiss some 6,000 traffic tickets. The three other officers remain under criminal investigation.
The Houston Police Department has identified the officer who shot and killed himself on Tuesday as Senior Police Officer Rudolph Farias, a 21-year veteran of the force.
Farias joined HPD in May 1993 and worked in the department's traffic enforcement division. He was found dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound inside a parking garage behind the HPD jail near downtown, according to authorities.
Officers spotted Farias's emergency lights flashing in the parking garage at about 4 p.m., and checked inside his HPD patrol car. According to authorities, Farias was slumped over, still dressed in his patrol uniform.
Farias was let go from HPD late Tuesday afternoon as the result of a ticket-rigging scheme involving three other officers, KHOU reports.
KHOU reports that all four officers were ordered to turn in their badges as the result of a ticket-rigging investigation. KHOU's I-Team previously reported that an "analysis of speeding tickets written by the Houston Police Traffic Enforcement Unit reveals several dozen cases in which officers were listed in two places at once." Farias was one of those officers.
According to the report, court overtime was the motivation behind the ticket-rigging scheme. Officer Farias had made $158,000 in overtime over the past three years, according to records obtained by KHOU, although how much of that overtime was related to the alleged ticket-rigging scheme is unclear.
Jodi Silva, spokesperson for HPD's media relations department, confirmed to the Press that Farias was involved in an internal investigation, but could not confirm the nature of the investigation, citing it as "ongoing."
Silva did not confirm whether Farias was let go from the department yesterday.
Silva says HPD will not release a formal statement on the officer's suicide, as there is still an active death investigation pending.