A Look at the Slaying of Suburban Houston Sheriff’s Deputy

1 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Accused cop killer ‘unloaded his entire weapon’ at unsuspecting Texas deputy who was pumping gas: prosecutor.

The man charged with the cold-hearted assassination of a Texas sheriff’s deputy “unloaded his entire weapon” on the unsuspecting officer, leaving him to die “in a pool of his own blood,” prosecutors said Monday. Shannon Jaruay Miles, 30, made his first court appearance three days after allegedly gunning down Harris County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Darren Goforth while the officer gassed up his police cruiser in suburban Houston Friday night. HOUSTON — The man accused of shooting and killing a suburban Houston officer has a history of mental illness and once lived in a homeless shelter, authorities said Monday.

Miles shot Goforth 15 times, emptying his .40 caliber handgun on an officer who never saw him coming, District Attorney Devon Anderson said in a Houston courtroom. His criminal history dates back to 2005 and includes an arrest in Austin in 2012 that led to Miles being sent to a state mental hospital for several months.

This weekend, Sheriff Ron Hickman said the attack was “clearly unprovoked,” and there is no evidence that Goforth knew Miles. “Our assumption is that he (Goforth) was a target because he wore a uniform,” the sheriff said. Miles, who is black, was found at his mother’s house Saturday morning and taken into custody for questioning as a person of interest, only to be named as the suspect later that day. Miles was found to be mentally incompetent in October 2012 and he was sent to North Texas State Hospital in Vernon, Texas. “From this case, you could never tell what would happen” in the future, Frederick said, adding prosecutors treated the case as a “very serious offense” and had offered Miles a plea agreement of seven years in prison. Surveillance video from the gas station shows that Goforth, 47, had just come out of a convenience store after he had pumped gas and that Miles exited his red truck, she said. “He runs up behind Deputy Goforth and puts the gun to the back of his head and shoots.

She said her son, who has previous convictions of criminal mischief, criminal trespassing and resisting arrest, suffers from unspecified mental problems. “So after we couldn’t get on our street, when we came back, the back way to our house and then that’s when we (were) faced with SWAT and dogs and cops and guns and they handcuffed him.” The funeral for Goforth, a 10-year veteran of the force who had a wife and two children, will be held Friday. Miles also has three convictions for resisting or evading arrest, as well as convictions for disorderly conduct with a firearm, criminal mischief and giving false information to police. More than 1,000 people attended a vigil for him Sunday night, and a makeshift memorial filled up with balloons and signs over the weekend at the gas pump where he was murdered. The killing evoked strong emotions in the area’s law enforcement community, with Hickman linking it to heightened tension over the treatment of African-Americans by police.

The nationwide “Black Lives Matter” movement that formed last year after 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, has sought sweeping reforms of policing. Roland De Los Santos, a childhood friend of Goforth’s, called the deputy a “simple guy” who was focused on providing for his family, noting that Goforth’s wife is a teacher and the couple has a 12-year-old daughter and a 5-year-old son.

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