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Keep Houston Press Free
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Last Suspect In Shooting Of Historic Officer Nabbed

The last of the three suspects in the shooting that left HPD's first Hispanic female officer paralyzed has been apprehended, thanks to a Crime Stoppers tip.

Police arrested Andrew Garcia at 1:30 this morning in a condo at 10912 Gulf Freeway after getting the tip.

“This capture shows once more the value of the Crime Stoppers partnership among citizens, law enforcement and the media, working together to bring the most violent offenders in our city to justice,” Crime Stoppers executive director Katherine Cabaniss said.

Velia "Belle" Ortega, 78, was visiting family at an apartment on the South Loop when she became the victim of a drive-by shooting, caused by what police said was a "dispute over a vehicle."

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More than 50 years ago, Ortega became the first female Hispanic officer in HPD.

Even with the arrest of two other suspects, Houston police were pressing hard to get the last guy. Thanks to a Crime Stoppers tip, they did.

-- Richard Connelly

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