Houston Deputy Goforth shot at gas station


Anna Scheuring, Reporter

On  August 28,  Houston police officer Deputy Darren H. Goforth was murdered in cold blood at a gas station by 30-year-old Shannon J. Miles.  Goforth was pumping gas into his patrol car when Miles ambushed him from behind, shooting him 15 times.

Deputy Goforth leaves behind his wife Kathleen Goforth and  two children. Goforth was a 10 year veteran of the police department, and was well known and loved by his friends and colleagues.

“Tonight we are grieving the loss of one of our brothers. I ask that you continue to pray for Deputy Goforth’s family, friends, & co-workers,” Sheriff Ron Hickman said on social media.

A surveillance camera at the gas station recorded the entire event. Miles walked up to Deputy Goforth’s car wearing red shorts and a white t-shirt, shot at him, and left the scene in a red pick-up truck. Police later found Miles at his house. After issuing a search warrant, the police located the gun that matched shell casings of the shooting. Miles cooperated with the police, and was arrested.

Miles is being charged with capital murder, and is being held without bond at Harris County Jail in an isolated cell. He has future court dates set to decide his fate, although his motive for the killing is still unclear. During Miles’ first court hearing, Miles stayed quiet, answering only with “Yes ma’am” or “No sir”.

Miles’ court appointed attorney said he “looked to me to have a blank expression” in court, which is “always a cause for concern.”

Miles has a history of criminal activity. In 2012, Miles was charged with aggravated assault after an argument with a homeless man over a TV remote, which led to Miles using a deadly weapon on the homeless man. The case was later dropped after Miles was ruled mentally incompetent and spent 6 months in the North Texas State Hospital. Records show that Miles has a history of repeated trips to jail, with time spans of six to ten days.

“Black lives matter” is a phrase that is frequently circulated when deadly shootings occur, especially when police officers or African-Americans are involved. The phrase originated following the death of Treyvon Martin in 2013 when George Zimmerman fatally  shot him, and has been used in reference to recent events such as the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner at the hands of police officers, which caused uproar in the United States over the issue of racial treatment and inequality.  The murder of Deputy Goforth by African- American Shannon J. Miles stirred the question “was he targeted for being a policeman?”, according to CNN news.

“This rhetoric has gotten out of control,” Goforth’s boss, Harris County, Texas, Sheriff Ron 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?”

Following the shooting, the entire city of Houston did their part to honor Goforth. Citizens gathered at the gas station where Deputy Goforth was killed in honor of his life, and GoFundMe accounts were created to benefit Goforth’s wife and children. A prayer walk of hundreds of people took place on the 30th to honor the deputy. President Obama even responded, contacting Kathleen Goforth.

“On behalf of the American people, I offered Mrs. Goforth my condolences and told her that Michelle and I would keep her and her family in our prayers,” Obama said. ”Targeting police officers is completely unacceptable — an affront to civilized society,” he added.

Despite the tragedy, citizens in the Houston area and even citizens around the country are uniting to remember the life that Deputy Goforth left behind.