Suspect arrested, charged in killing of Texas county sheriff’s deputy

30 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Sheriff says 30-year-old man charged with murder in ambush of Houston area deputy.

A man arrested Saturday in the shooting death of a sheriff’s deputy at a Houston gas station Friday has been charged with capital murder, Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman told reporters at a news conference Saturday evening. Police were questioning a person of interest in the execution-style killing of a uniformed Texas sheriff’s deputy Saturday and warned during a press conference that “dangerous rhetoric” against law enforcement has “gotten out of control.” Deputy Darren H. Goforth, 47, was returning to his patrol car after pumping gas Friday night in Houston when a man shot him from behind, killing him instantly. “He was literally gunned down in what appears to be an unprovoked, execution-style killing,” Mr. Hickman told CNN. “I have been in law enforcement for 45 years, I have never seen anything this cold-blooded.” During an emotional press conference Saturday afternoon, Mr.

He is charged with killing Darren Goforth, 47, a 10-year veteran of the force. “I am proud of the men and women that have worked swiftly to apprehend the responsible person who posed a significant threat to both law enforcement and the community at large,” Hickman said. “Our deputies return to the streets tonight to hold a delicate peace that was shattered last evening.” He said the motive for the killing had not been determined but investigators would look at whether Miles, who is black, was motivated by anger over recent killings elsewhere of black men by police that have spawned the “Black Lives Matter” protest movement. “I think that’s something that we have to keep an eye on,” Hickman said. “The general climate of that kind of rhetoric can be influential on people to do things like this. Hickman said no one has been taken into custody, and asked for any witnesses to the shooting of the loving “father, husband, son and committed law enforcement officer” to come forward. As Deputy Goforth pumped the gas, the gunman approached from behind and began firing, continuing to shoot after the officer fell to the ground, the authorities said. An impromptu memorial sprouted at the pump he had used Friday night, with a pile of balloons, flowers, candles and notes, including one that said, “Gone but never forgotten R.I.P. Investigators had not found any provocation that might have set off the attack. “We have not been able to extract any details regarding a motive at this point,” Sheriff Hickman said. “As far as we know Deputy Goforth had no previous contact with the suspect.

Deputy Goforth.” The gas station was open Saturday, but that pump was closed. “He was passionate about what he did,” the 49-year-old said, adding, “We’re still in shock. … So why don’t we just drop the qualifier, and just say ‘lives matter,’ and take that to the bank.” Goforth is the 23rd officer to be shot and killed in the line of duty this year, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, a nonprofit group that tracks line-of-duty fatalities. Even as officials at an earlier news conference stressed that they had not established a motive, they tied the attack to the wave of protests across the country over police shootings, including the demonstrations after the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner on Staten Island. To some, the death of Deputy Goforth echoed the attack last year on two New York City police officers who were sitting in their patrol car in Brooklyn when they were shot at point-blank range and killed.

The deputy had finished working a routine incident and stopped at a Chevron to pump gas into his car. “A male suspect came up behind the deputy and shot the deputy multiple times. But I think the statement shows a lack of understanding of what is occurring in this country when it comes to the singling out of African-Americans.” The shooting stunned Harris County, the most populous county in Texas, with 4.4 million residents.

The president of the Harris County Deputies’ Organization, Deputy Robert Goerlitz, said he had known Deputy Goforth since 2008 and described him as a “wonderful family man” who spoke often of his wife and children. “He was an extremely hard worker,” said Deputy Goerlitz, who was Deputy Goforth’s patrol instructor at the sheriff’s academy. “I’ve seen some dedicated folks, but he was above and beyond.” Deputy Goforth suffered from the effects of previous injuries while he was in the academy but pushed them aside during his training. “He wouldn’t give up,” Deputy Goerlitz said. Wes Tarpley, 60, who lives nearby, left a cross at the base of the pump that read “Grace and peace my son.” He said he could not make sense of the killing. “You can’t make sense of evil,” Mr.

Whatever it was, it was dark.” Sheriff Hickman and other officials said they had been overwhelmed by the support of residents and fellow law enforcement agencies. But he said his deputies, while being more cautious as they worked their shifts, were reeling. “This is the kind of thing that drives you right down to your soul,” he said. “Our job is to carry the badge and gun and protect everybody else, and now we’ve got to fall back, regroup and take care of one of our own.”

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