Texas Deputy Killed ‘Because He Wore a Uniform,’ Sheriff Says

31 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Suspect Arrested For Allegedly Killing Deputy In Gas Station Ambush.

HOUSTON — A 30-year-old Houston man was arrested Saturday in the fatal shooting the night before of a sheriff’s deputy who was filling the gas tank of his patrol car. Harris County authorities in Texas have a man in custody in Friday’s shooting death of a sheriff’s deputy, Sheriff Ron Hickman said at a press conference Saturday. We’re still searching to find out if that’s actually a motive.” Goforth, who was white, was pumping gas Friday night when the gunman approached him from behind and fired multiple shots, continuing to fire after the deputy had fallen to the ground.

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. 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. 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. … It’s a huge loss for his family.

Hickman, in discussing the shooting with reporters at an earlier press conference, condemned the “very dangerous national rhetoric” about police officers that he said was out of control. Investigators have 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. Hickman said there was a “dangerous national rhetoric” regarding police. “At any point where the rhetoric ramps up to the point where calculated, cold-blooded assassination of police officers happen — this rhetoric has gotten out of control,” Hickman said. “We’ve heard ‘black lives matter,’ ‘all lives matter.’ Well, cops’ lives matter too. 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.

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 then fell to the ground,” Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Thomas Gilliland told reporters Friday night. “The suspect then continued over to him and shot the deputy again multiple times as he laid on the ground.” A witness called 911 to report the shooting, Gilliland said. 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.

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 other 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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