HARRIS COUNTY, Texas - The Harris County Sheriff's Office has announced the charging and arrest of a suspect in a fatal shooting of a sheriff's deputy.
Officials said at a press conference Saturday that the shooter's name is Shannon. J Miles, 30. He has been charged with capital murder. Miles was voluntarily taken into custody as a person of interest at about 3 a.m. Saturday morning after deputies found a truck matching the description of the suspect's vehicle.
Deputy Darren Goforth was shot while returning to his patrol car from a convenience store around 8:30 p.m. Friday at a Chevron gas station. He was shot multiple times in the back and then shot multiple times once he was on the ground.
Goforth, 47, was a 10-year veteran on the force who was assigned to the West District patrol in District 5. He leaves behind a wife and two children.
"We have not been able to extract any details regarding a motive at this point," Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman said. "As far as we know, deputy Goforth had no previous contact with the suspect and it appears at the outset to be clearly unprovoked. Our assumption is he was a target because he wore a uniform."
Miles was not called a suspect until county detectives questioned him and ballistic tests were returned on a pistol that showed it was used to kill Goforth.
Miles' mother said her son couldn't be the killer because they were shopping together at the time of the shooting.
"We got back, we couldn't get on our street," she said. "So after we couldn't get on our street, when we came back, the back way to our house and then that's when we (were) faced with SWAT and dogs and cops and guns and they handcuffed him."
Miles has a history of eight misdemeanor arrests going back to 2005, but has no record of violent crimes. In 2005, he was convicted of criminal mischief and resisting arrest. In 2007, Miles was charged and found guilty of criminal trespassing.
A conviction in this case could send him to death row. Miles' mother said he suffers from mental problems as a result of an incident several years ago. In 2009 he was convicted on another charge of resisting arrest.
People who live in a neighborhood near West Road said they heard several gunshots between 8:35 p.m. and 8:45 p.m.
"A witness called 911 to let us know that one of our deputies had been shot," Thomas Gilliland, with the Harris County Sheriff's Office, said. "Multiple units arrived, EMS arrived on scene. Unfortunately the deputy had passed."
Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson expressed outrage over the shooting death Saturday and said it is time for the brutality to end.
"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 on law enforcement. The vast majority of officers are there to do the right thing, are there because they care about their community and want to make it a safer place," Anderson said. "What happened last night is an assault on the very fabric of society. It is not anything that we can tolerate. It is time to come forward and support law enforcement and condemn this atrocious act. We need to bring this killer to justice."
The 100 Club is donating $20,000 to the Goforth family to assist with immediate financial needs. Click here if you are interested in donating to the 100 Club. A GoFundMe has also been established for Goforth.
The FBI, Texas Rangers and U.S. Marshals assisted in the search for the shooter.
"It's an act of cowardice and brutality, the likes of which I've never seen," Anderson said.
Hickman echoed Anderson's sentiments about the targeting of law enforcement officers.
"Our system of justice absolutely requires law enforcement to be present to protect our community. So at any point when the rhetoric ramps up to the point where calculated, cold-blooded assassinations 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."
Editor's note -- A mugshot of another man was used by the Harris County Sheriff's Office in error.
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