Suspect Arrested In Texas Deputy's Murder

Saturday, August 29th 2015, 1:08 pm
By: News On 6

Authorities on Saturday arrested a suspect in what they're calling the "cold-blooded assassination" of a uniformed sheriff's deputy who was fatally shot while filling up his patrol car at a suburban Houston gas station.

Shannon J. Miles has been charged with capital murder in the death of Deputy Darren Goforth, CBS affiliate KHOU in Houston reports. The first mug shot published by the station of Miles was not the correct man. The station has corrected the error, and the current photo in this story is Shannon J. Miles.

Miles, 30, was located after authorities performed routine research in searching for the vehicle spotted at the crime scene, Sheriff Ron Hickman said in a press conference Saturday afternoon.

The death of Harris County Sheriff's Deputy Darren Goforth prompted strong statements about the recent climate of tension between civilians, law enforcement and the "Black Lives Matter" movement.

"Our system of justice absolutely requires a law enforcement presence to protect our community," Hickman said at an earlier news conference. "So at any point when the rhetoric ramps up to the point where calculated cold-blooded assassination of police officers happens, this rhetoric has gotten out of control.

"We've heard Black Lives Matter, All Lives Matter. Well, cops' lives matter, too. So why don't we drop the qualifier and say lives matter."

Police had described the suspect as a male with a dark complexion, about 5-foot-10 to 6 feet tall, wearing a white T-shirt and red shorts. Authorities did not say what race they believe him to be.

Earlier Saturday, Gilliland said officials were questioning a person of interest and had a search warrant for a two-story brick home. Hickman said authorities were looking at a red pickup truck at the house, which is about a quarter-mile from the gas station, due to the description of the suspect driving a red or maroon truck with an extended cab.

Goforth was a 10-year veteran of the force, had a wife and two children, according to Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman.

"In my 45 years in law enforcement, I can't recall another incident so cold-blooded and cowardly," Hickman said.

No motive was determined for the shooting, he said.

Goforth had traveled to the Chevron station after responding to a routine car accident, Gilliland said.

"He was pumping gas into his vehicle and the male suspect came up behind him and shot the deputy multiple times," Gilliland told the Houston Chronicle. "The deputy fell to ground. The suspect came over and shot the deputy again multiple times as he lay on the ground."

He said Goforth died at the scene.

Detectives were checking security camera video for possible clues.

"I can tell you with diligence and justice the suspect will be caught," Gilliland told the newspaper. "And he will be brought to justice ... This is a very callous individual."

Harris County Sheriff's deputies and homicide investigators joined officers from other agencies, including the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Houston Police Department, in the search.

"This is a very tough moment right now for the Harris County Sheriff's Office," Gilliland said. "Keep us in your prayers and in your thoughts."

Bob Goerlitz, president of the Harris County Deputies Organization, said the incident was "shocking."

"We've been warned of things like this, because of public sentiment nationally and events over the last few years ... It's just horrific. That's the only way to describe it."