Houston: One suspected person has been arrested in connection with the killing of the Harris County Sheriff's deputy, authorities in Texas have said.
The shooter, identified as Shannon J Miles, was voluntarily taken into custody as a person of interest, last morning, officials said at a press conference today.
30-year-old Miles is now in custody facing capital murder charges.
Deputy Darren Goforth, 47, was shot while returning to his patrol car from the convenience store around 8:30 pm on Friday. He was shot multiple times in the back and then shot multiple times once he was on the ground.
Goforth had no previous contact with Miles, according to investigators.
"Deputy Darren Goforth was senselessly struck down while innocently pumping gas at a Chevron station at West Road and Telge in northwest Harris County yesterday evening," Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman said at a press conference last morning.
Hickman said the shooting appears to be "an unprovoked, execution-style killing of a police officer" and is asking for any witnesses to come forward.
"From video retrieved from the location, we know that other individuals drove up to the service station while this incident was going on. I plead today for the public's assistance in our efforts to bring the suspect to justice he so rightfully deserves," Hickman said.
The deputy of Harris County Sheriff was pumping gas into his vehicle on Friday night when a man approached him from behind and fired multiple shots.
Once the deputy fell to the ground, the suspect fired more shots.
Goforth was shot multiple times from behind and then fell to the ground, where the suspect shot the deputy multiple times again, said Deputy Thomas
Gilliland, a spokesman for the sheriff's office."I have been in law enforcement (for) 45 years," the sheriff said, and added: "I don't recall another incident this cold-blooded and cowardly."
Investigators believed Hickman was targeted merely because of his uniform. Hickman said the motive appears to be "absolute madness."
At a news conference, Hickman and Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson talked about the nationwide debate over the relationship between the police officers and the public, with the sheriff referring to what he called "dangerous national rhetoric."
"When the rhetoric ramps up to the point where calculated, cold-blooded assassination of police officers happen, this rhetoric has gotten out of control," Hickman said. "We've heard 'Black Lives Matter,' 'All lives matter.' Well, cops' lives matter too. So why don't we just drop the qualifier, and just say 'Lives Matter,' and take that to the bank."
Anderson said, "It is time for the silent majority in this country to support law enforcement. There are a few bad apples in every profession. That does not mean there should be open warfare declared on law enforcement."
The gunman, who was captured on the surveillance footage, drove away after the shooting in a red Ford Ranger, authorities said.
Authorities said some bystanders called 911 to report the shooting.
About 30 minutes before the shooting, Goforth had investigated an accident, but authorities said it's unclear whether there was a connection to the attack.
Goforth leaves behind a wife and two children, ages 5 and 12.
"Our hearts go out to them," Hickman said, asking the community to remember his family in prayer.