Captain Octavio ”Ox” Gonzalez on Friday, June 16, 2006 at River Parishes Hospital, LaPlace, LA. Captain Octavio Gonzalez was ambushed, shot and killed while participating in a manhunt for two suspects who had shot and wounded another deputy minutes earlier, in which a Houston man fired three shots from behind into Capt. Octavio Gonzalez after he was lured from his vehicle by a woman pretending to need help.
Sheriff Wayne L. Jones credited Gonzalez with being the architect of the parish’s Special Operations Response Team, or SORT, and said his dedication was well-known by SORT and SWAT officers throughout the New Orleans area.
Beloved husband of Gloria Breaux Gonzalez. Devoted father of Alexander and Bryson Gonzalez. Son of Cantalicia Gonzalez and the late Mario Gonzalez. Son-in-law of Gloria T. Breaux. Brother of Caridad Artigas, Maria McGlophin and the late Marisol Artigas. Also survived by 4 brothers-in-law, 5 sisters-in-law and 19 nieces and nephews. He was a Police Officer for the Past 17 years.
He was a member of Louisiana Tactical Police Officers Association, Louisiana Sheriff’s Association, Commander of the Bureau of Narcotics Investigation for the St. John the Baptist Sheriff’s Office, Assistant Commander of St. John the Baptist Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Response Team. Age 40 years. A native of Havana, Cuba and a resident of Kenner, LA for the past 14 years.
Relatives and friends of the family attended the Funeral Mass from St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church, 105 Bonnabel Blvd., Metairie, LA. on Tuesday, June 20, 2006 at 2:00 PM, followed by interment in St. John Memorial Gardens, LaPlace, LA.
He was also a cop’s cop, a man so dedicated to his job that his wife, Gloria, often referred to fellow SORT member Capt. Charles “Chuck” Bazile as Gonzalez’s “work wife.” Among the many adjectives Bazile rattled off to describe his friend was “unique.”
“Unique: There will be only one of its kind, unequal,” said Bazile, before Gloria Gonzalez joined him at the podium. “You paid the ultimate cost . . . I lost my friend, my hero. How sad I will be.”
Swat Team Members of departments through out Louisiana attended and wore thier Department Swat Uniform.
Reed Pere, who played football with Gonzalez at Nicholls State University, recalled a sociable prankster who sometimes mixed up popular colloquialisms, once referring to someone as the “pot talking to a skillet.” “He was a special person,” Pere said. “You never felt like a stranger in his presence.”
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to Octavio R. Gonzalez Memorial Fund may be made at any Capitol One Bank location.
Gone, But Not Forgotten
Details of Incident
John Lee Cheek, 31, of Houston, Texas, was booked with first-degree murder of a peace officer, two counts of attempted first-degree murder of a police officer and armed robbery in connection with the killing of Gonzalez and the wounding of Detective Monty Adams in LaPlace, was shot once in the leg while trying to pull over Cheek during a traffic stop on U.S. 51.
Crystal Lynn Reed, 27, of Houston, Texas, was booked with principal to first-degree murder, two counts of principal to attempted first-degree murder and principal to armed robbery. Cheek and Reed are also accused of a host of other crimes in Jefferson Parish and Kenner, including kidnapping, aggravated burglary and armed robbery as part of a violent crime spree that lasted about 11 hours and included two home invasions, a hostage situation and a police chase that wound through Uptown New Orleans.
Investigators believed that Capt. Gonzalez came upon the couple as they were trying to steal a vehicle near the intersection of Cane and Pampas streets in LaPlace. At the time, Gonzalez was en route to check on Adams when Gonzalez heard dispatch radio reports about a suspicious vehicle driving on the wrong side of the street.
Gonzalez was lured from his vehicle by Reed, who pretended to be a motorist in distress, a tactic she apparently used again less than an hour later to gain entry into a house in Kenner.
After shooting Gonzalez, authorities say, the couple went on an extended crime spree that included robbing a Kenner family at gunpoint in their home, a car chase with police and eventually a hostage situation in River Ridge that ended shortly before noon when Cheek surrendered without incident.
Reed was arrested before the hostage situation when the car chase ended in a crash near Joy Street in River Ridge shortly after 3 a.m. Jones said Reed tried to portray herself as a hostage being held against her will, but authorities are skeptical of her explanation because it is at odds with witness accounts and other evidence.
Cheek was also wanted by Houston police and surrounding Harris County on theft charges, and had fled the Houston area to avoid arrest.
On April 1, 2008, John Lee Cheek was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole and an additional 50 years for the attempted murder of the deputy.