At a press conference Saturday afternoon, Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman announced that Shannon J. Miles, 30, a person who had been in custody since early Saturday morning, is charged with capital murder.
Miles is accused of killing Deputy Darren Goforth, 47, in northwest Harris County. Investigators say Deputy Goforth had worked an accident scene at around 8:30pm, then went to a gas station on Telge and West Road. As he was pumping gas, detectives say Miles approached Deputy Goforth from behind, said nothing and fired multiple shots. Once he fell to the ground, authorities say Miles fired more shots at the deputy. Deputy Goforth was pronounced dead at the scene.
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"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."
Hickman 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. Officials say Deputy Goforth had no previous interaction with Miles.
"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. We're still searching to find out if that's actually a motive."
Earlier on Saturday, Hickman had called the killing a "cold-blooded assassination."
"Cops' lives matter, too," Hickman said then. "So why don't we drop the qualifier and say lives matter."
The press conference to announce charges against Miles was the second of the afternoon. In the first, Hickman, along with other county officials, issued a plea to the public for anyone who knows anything about the fatal shooting of Deputy Goforth to come forward. Asked at the second press conference why he asked for the public's help if he already had someone in custody, Hickman said he had to be sure.
"We always want to make sure we leave no stone unturned because people who were at the scene who we have not talked to yet may have more details to help solidify our case," He said.
Miles has a criminal history that includes Resisting arrest, trespassing, evading detention and disorderly conduct with a firearm.
We've learned the non-profit, the 100 Club, is assisting Goforth's family. The 62-year-old organization said Saturday they will give the family a $20,000 check to help with any financial needs. The organization added in a statement today, "Additional financial support for the dependent family, which averages $300,000 per tragedy, will be made after an assessment of their needs is conducted."
TIMELINE OF EVENTS
4:40 p.m. Saturday
A 30-year-old man has been charged with capital murder in the ambush of a sheriff's deputy while he was filling his patrol car with gas at a station in suburban Houston.
Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman identified the man as Shannon J. Miles, who is in police custody.
Hickman says Miles had a previous record including charges of resisting arrest and trespassing.
Authorities said they are not sure of the motive in what Hickman has described as a "cold-blooded assassination" of Deputy Darren Goforth.
3:45 p.m. Saturday
Officials say a suspect has been arrested in the fatal shooting of a deputy at a suburban Houston gas station.
Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman was scheduled to hold a news conference at 4:30 p.m. CDT to discuss the arrest.
Officials with the sheriff's office declined to comment on details of the arrest or what charge the suspect might face until the news conference.
Deputy Darren Goforth was pumping gas about 8:30 p.m. Friday when a man approached him from behind and fired multiple shots, continuing to fire after the deputy had fallen to the ground.
Earlier Saturday, Harris County Sheriff's Office spokesman Deputy Thomas Gilliland said officials were questioning a person of interest and had a search warrant for a two-story brick home.
1:25 p.m. Saturday
Gov. Greg Abbott says "heinous and deliberate crimes against law enforcement will not be tolerated in the State of Texas."
Abbott released a statement Saturday afternoon in response to the death of Harris County Sheriff's Deputy Darren Goforth at a suburban Houston gas station.
Goforth was in his uniform when a man approached him from behind and fired multiple shots Friday night as the deputy filled up his patrol car. No arrests have been made.
The governor says, "Texas reveres the men and women in law enforcement who put their lives on the line every day to protect and serve their communities."
He added that he knows local law enforcement "will work tirelessly to apprehend the killer and ensure justice for Deputy Goforth is served."
1:20 p.m. Saturday
Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman says authorities will "follow the evidence to the logical and legal conclusion" in the fatal shooting of one of the office's deputies.
Hickman also said that the "dangerous rhetoric" against law enforcement has "gotten out of control."
He also said the house that is being searched near the gas station where Deputy Darren Goforth was ambushed and shot Friday night is connected through the truck. Officials were looking for a red or maroon pickup truck.
Hickman said it is "all speculation" regarding a motive.
He also said, "We've heard black lives matter, all lives matter. Well, cops' lives matter, too."
1:15 p.m. Saturday
Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman says that authorities are still looking for the suspect in the fatal shooting of a deputy at a gas station.
Hickman said at a Saturday afternoon news conference that surveillance video showed there were people at the gas station in suburban Houston about 8:30 p.m. Friday when Deputy Darren Goforth was ambushed by a man and shot several times. He asked that they reach out to the sheriff's office with any information.
District Attorney Devon Anderson had strong words at the news conference, saying it is "time for the silent majority in the country to support law enforcement" and that there should not be "open warfare on law enforcement officers."
Authorities said the investigation is ongoing.
12:00 p.m. Saturday
Authorities say the man they are speaking with in connection with the fatal shooting of a Harris County sheriff's deputy is a person of interest.
Sheriff's office spokesman Deputy Thomas Gilliland said no one has been charged. A news conference is scheduled for Saturday afternoon.
Gilliland also said authorities are searching a home that's about a quarter-mile away from the suburban Houston gas station where Deputy Darren Goforth was shot and killed on Friday night.
10:45 a.m. Saturday
Authorities are searching a home in connection with the fatal shooting of a Harris County sheriff's deputy at a gas station about a quarter-mile away.
Sheriff's office spokesman Deputy Thomas Gilliland says that the person authorities are speaking with about the shooting lives at that home. He also said they have obtained a search warrant and have been looking inside the home.
Nine patrol cars, including one that has the words "crime scene unit" on the side of the vehicle, are parked near the two-story brick home.
No arrests have been made in the death of Deputy Darren Goforth, who was ambushed and shot several times at a gas station in suburban Houston at about 8:30 p.m. Friday.
10:20 a.m. Saturday
An impromptu memorial of balloons, flowers, candles and notes has begun at the gas pump where Harris County Deputy Darren Goforth was shot and killed.
The Chevron gas station is in Cypress, a middle-class to upper middle-class suburban area of Harris County that is unincorporated and located northwest of Houston. It is open for business, though the pump where Goforth was shot about 8:30 p.m. Friday is closed.
Sheriff's office spokesman Deputy Thomas Gilliland says police are speaking with someone who has information about the shooting but he is not under arrest, nor is he a suspect or a person of interest.
Brian McCullar says he got to know Goforth during the deputy's patrols in the neighborhood and says he was "passionate about what he did."
The 49-year-old says Goforth's death is a "huge loss for this area."
8:40 a.m. Saturday
Authorities say they are speaking with a person who has information about the fatal shooting of a Harris County sheriff's deputy.
Sheriff's office spokesman Deputy Thomas Gilliland said the person is not under arrest, nor is he a suspect or a person of interest.
No one has been charged and the search continues for the suspect.
Police say Deputy Darren Goforth was pumping gas about 8:30 p.m. Friday at a suburban Houston gas station when a man approached him from behind and fired several shots. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The male suspect is described between 20 and 25 years old and about 5-foot-10 to 6 feet tall, was wearing red shorts and a white T-shirt and driving a red or maroon pickup truck.
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