The man accused of fatally shooting a Harris County deputy as he stood outside of a Houston gas station refueling his patrol car is due to be arraigned in court Monday on capital murder charges.
Deputy Darren Goforth, 47, just finished working a traffic accident when he pulled into the gas station about 8:30 p.m. Friday. Shannon J. Miles, 30, then approached Goforth from behind and shot him multiple times, a local ABC affiliate reported. After the deputy fell to the ground, Miles fired several more rounds, then fled from the scene.
Goforth, who left behind a wife and two children, was pronounced dead at the scene, and Miles was apprehended the following morning, about a mile from where the shooting occurred.
“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,” said Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman. “Our deputies return to the streets tonight to hold a delicate peace that was shattered last evening.”
Hickman called the shooting a “cold-blooded assassination.” Authorities confirmed that despite Miles’ criminal history, which included resisting arrest, trespassing, evading detention and disorderly conduct with a firearm, the suspect and the deputy had no known prior interactions.
Hickman said they do not yet have a motive for the deputy’s murder, but investigators are looking into whether race relations and growing negativity toward the law enforcement community after multiple high-profile allegations of police brutality may have been a factor.
“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 added, speaking of the “Black Lives Matter” movement, that the qualifiers need to be dropped and people need to understand that all lives matter.
The community has since rallied to show support for the fallen officer and his family. In fact, nearly 1,500 people turned out for a march from a local church to the gas station where Goforth was killed, where a large makeshift memorial now sits.
In a statement released Saturday, Goforth’s wife, Kathleen, described her husband as “an incredibly intricate blend of toughness and gentility” who was always guided by what he felt was the right thing to do. She said he was the kind of person whom one would want as a friend, colleague and neighbor, and that she was richly blessed to have had the privilege to call him her husband and best friend.