A Texas sheriff cited the Black Lives Matter movement on Saturday after the alleged fatal shooting of a white sheriff’s deputy by a black suspect.
Darren Goforth, a 10-year veteran of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, was shot and killed on Friday in what officials are calling an “execution-style” attack. The suspect, 30-year-old Shannon Miles, was apprehended less than 24 hours after authorities say he ambushed Goforth at a gas station. He’s been charged with capital murder.
Goforth is survived by a wife, a 12-year-old daughter, and a 5-year-old son.
“We’ve heard Black Lives Matter, All Lives Matter. Well, cops’ lives matter, too,” Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman said at a press conference Saturday.
“He was loyal, fiercely so. And he was ethical; the right thing to do is what guided his internal compass.”
Hickman said the attack was “clearly unprovoked,” and that he believed Goforth was specifically targeted because of his uniform; however, police have not officially released any information regarding the alleged shooter’s motive.
Devon Anderson, Harris County’s district attorney, said the shooting was the worst act of “cowardice and brutality” he’d seen. “We will use all our resources to prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law,” he said.
Following Hickman’s comments about the Black Lives Matter movement, Deray McKesson, an activist and principal organizer of the movement, told the Houston Chronicle: “It’s is unfortunate that Sheriff Hickman has chosen to politicize this tragedy and to attribute the officer’s death to a movement that seeks to end violence.”
In a statement Saturday evening, Goforth’s wife, Kathleen, said her husband was an “intricate blend of toughness and gentility.”
“He was loyal, fiercely so,” Goforth said of her husband. “And he was ethical; the right thing to do is what guided his internal compass. I admired this quality, perhaps, the most.”
The 100 Club, a Houston-based nonprofit organization supporting the families of police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty, announced it would provide $20,000 to help the Goforth family with immediate financial needs, KHOU reports.
On Sunday evening, a crowd of hundreds gathered in Houston for a prayer walk in Goforth’s honor.