A Harris County sheriff’s deputy was ambushed and executed while he was pumping gas at a Chevron convenience store near Houston late Friday.
Shortly after 8:30 p.m. local time, a man reportedly came up from behind 47-year-old Darren Goforth, who was in full uniform and on duty, and shot him in the back of the head. The 10-year veteran died at the scene. He leaves behind a wife and two kids.
“A male suspect came up from behind the deputy and shot the deputy multiple times. The deputy then fell to ground. The suspect then continued over to him and shot the deputy again multiple times as he laid on the ground,” Harris County deputy Thomas Gilliland told reporters during a press conference.
— HCSOTexas (@HCSOTexas) August 29, 2015
“No apparent reason at all,” Gilliland said of the shooter’s motive, adding that “it’s tough enough being a deputy and being in law enforcement in this country right now.”
Gilliland said that Goforth had recently responded to a traffic accident but did not believe the shooting was related.
In a press conference held early Saturday morning, Harris County sheriff Ron Hickman told reporters that Goforth “was literally gunned down” in an “unprovoked execution style killing of a police officer.”
— Josh Chapin (@JoshChapinKHOU) August 29, 2015
The suspect, who was described as having a dark complexion, fled the scene in a red Ford Ranger.
About a dozen bullet casings littered the convenience store parking lot. The officer’s body was still on the ground two hours into the investigation.
A witness who arrived at the scene just after the shooting told Houston’s ABC13 that a woman who said she was Goforth’s best friend was crouched over him and crying.
A man was taken into custody at around 2:30 a.m. after someone called in a tip about a red truck. However, the man’s mother, who lives with the man, told ABC13 that he is innocent and that he was with her the entire night.
— Katie McCall Fox 26 (@KatieMcCallTV) August 29, 2015
The location of the shooting is less than 30 miles from the town of Prairie View, which was the town in which Sandra Bland was arrested on July 10 by a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper. Bland died three days later in the county jail. While her death was ruled a suicide, the case drew the attention of Black Lives Matter protesters.
This article has been updated with new information.