Shannon J. Miles, 30, is the suspect that has been arrested for the assassination of Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Darren Goforth. The deputy was ambushed from behind as he was pumping gas into his patrol car. Goforth was on duty and in uniform when he was ambushed and shot numerous times from behind. When he fell to the ground, the suspect stood over his body and continued firing.
The shooting happened in Northwest Houston at a Chevron station at Telge and West. Deputy Goforth, 47, was pronounced dead at the scene. He was a 10-year highly respected veteran of the Harris County Sheriff’s department. His wife is now without a husband and his two children, ages 5 and 12, are left fatherless.
Police have no motive for the shooting other than the fact that Goforth wore a badge. Since he was on duty, in uniform, and putting fuel in his patrol car, they believe he was targeted by the suspect simply because he was a police officer.
At a press conference on Saturday afternoon, Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman announced that Miles would be charged with capital murder. KTRK Eyewitness News reported on harsh words that Hickman had for the #BlackLivesMatter anarchist movement and the violence towards police it has encouraged.
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.”
Miles is now in custody of the Harris County Sheriff’s office.
A vigil attended by thousands was held for Deputy Goforth at the location of his murder. A make-shift memorial was also set up at the site.
WATCH Shannon J. Miles be perp walked to the vehicle which likely took him to his prison home as he awaits trial.