A serial criminal has been arrested in connection with the ‘senseless’ and ‘cold-blooded’ killing of a sheriff’s deputy who was shot dead during a gas station ambush.
Darren Goforth, a 47-year-old father of two, was pumping fuel into his patrol car at a Chevron station Friday night when a man crept up behind him and opened fire.
Shannon J Miles, 30, who has a long criminal record which includes firearms offenses, was arrested on Friday night and has been charged with capital murder. He is being held in Harris County Jail and is expected to be arraigned on Monday.
After Goforth fell to the ground, the suspect allegedly kept firing bullets into his body in what colleagues described as a ‘cold-blooded and cowardly’ execution.
No definitive motive has been put forward for the killing – but Harris County sheriff Ron Hickman pointed the finger at the Black Lives Matter protest group for their ‘out of control rhetoric’ against law enforcement.
He said: ‘Our system of justice absolutely requires law enforcement to be present to protect our community.
‘So at any point where the rhetoric ramps up to the point where the 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. Why don’t we just drop the qualifier and say “lives matter”.’
A resume posted online suggests Miles attended Prairie View A&M University, the school where Sandra Bland was arrested following a traffic stop and alleged assault on a police officer in July.
Three days later she killed herself in her cell and the Black Lives Matter movement made her an integral figure in their movement.
Miles has also held a number of jobs, including a stint as a kitchen cook at Burger King and a host at Whataburger.
Deputies responded to the red pickup truck, a Ford Ranger, and questioned the man, but could not say whether the car was the same one seen in surveillance footage of the attack.
Miles’ mother, who would not given her name, told the station that he had nothing to do with the killing.
She said: ‘My son is innocent. I was in the house with him, so when that happened, my son was home’.
At the news conference, he said: ‘This is the kind of thing that drives you right down to your soul… this was a cold-blooded execution – how do you protect against that?’
Harris County DA Devon Anderson added: ‘It’s an act of cowardice and brutality the likes of which I’ve never seen.’
A spokesman for the sheriff’s office said Goforth had stopped to fill up his cruiser after responding to a routine car accident.
‘He was pumping into his vehicle. and the male suspect came up behind him and shot the deputy multiple times,’ Thomas Gilliland told the Houston Chronicle.
Goforth, who was assigned to the west district patrol of Harris County, leaves behind a wife and two children.
A relative speaking to KTRK said that Goforth was a ‘rock’ of their family and that police work was ‘his calling’.
Stephen Allison, Goforth’s brother-in-law, said: ‘It was his calling … he wanted to spend his whole life in it once he got in it. … He was kind of born for it.’
In his private life, Allison said Goforth was ‘a good dad’ ‘a giving individual’ and a ‘rock’ of the family.
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.’
Mourners are due to hold a vigil for Goforth at the scene of the attack this evening.