Katy traffic stop leads to arrest of 3 teens in game-room murder
Three Katy-area teenagers are in jail on capital murder charges in connection with last week's shooting death of a South Mason Road game room manager, and it was a routine traffic stop for a broken headlight that put them there.
According to Harris County authorities, Matthew Payam Shalouei of Katy, Jonathan Rodriguez and Gilberto Olquin, all 17 years old with Katy-area addresses, are charged in the death of Ly Dinh Pham, 33.
Officers were dispatched to the shooting about 10:58 p.m. on Jan. 18 at the Clover Game Room, in the 500 block of South Mason.
"Suspects attempted to gain entry into the game room and while doing so were confronted by the manager. Shots were fired, striking the manager, and the suspects fled the scene," according to a report by Harris County Sheriff's Office homicide investigators.
Medical personnel pronounced Pham dead at the scene, investigators said.
Katy police became involved in the case when they arrested Shalouei about two hours after the shooting on separate drug and weapons charges. The arrest came during a routine traffic stop for a defective headlamp around 1 a.m. Jan. 19 in the 900 block of Katy-Fort Bend Road.
According to the Katy police report, the officer searched the vehicle after smelling the odor of burnt marijuana. Along with a plastic baggie containing a green leafy substance that field-tested positive as marijuana, the officer also found a 9 mm pistol, which was listed as stolen by the Houston Police Department.
Shalouei was taken to the Harris County jail on the Class A weapons charge and the Class B misdemeanor drug charge.
Katy Police Department Asst. Chief Tim Tyler said the Katy officer didn't know about the shooting until the suspect began talking. "We didn't know who he was when we stopped him. He thought we did," Tyler said.
The arrest of Shalouei was a "big factor" in the subsequent arrest of the other two suspects in the South Mason Road shooting, Tyler said.
In a published obituary, Pham was described as "a loving father, a great friend and a big brother to all his cousins.
"He was the most caring unselfish person you'll ever meet," according to the obituary. "He was an imaginative person with a thirst of adventure. He was always out to satisfy his adrenaline rush. He is survived by his daughter, father, mother, and siblings."
Pham's funeral was Jan. 25 in Dickinson.
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