Condolences pour in for 'trailblazer' HCSO deputy killed in line of duty

By Tulsi Kamath - Digital Content Producer

Condolences are pouring in after 41-year-old Harris County Sheriff's Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal was gunned down Friday during a traffic stop. 

Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said Dhaliwal was a close friend of his and he was heartbroken. 

"Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal, a 10-year veteran, was a respected member of the community, and he was a trailblazer," Gonzalez said in a press conference Friday evening. "He was a father, I believe of three children, he was a husband, a brother and a son." 

RELATED: What we know about slain HCSO Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statement to mourn Dhaliwal soon after news broke that he'd died. 

"It is with heavy hearts that we send our deepest sympathies to the deputy's family, friends, and his brothers and sisters in law enforcement," Abbott wrote. "This tragic loss is a grave reminder of the risks that our law enforcement officers face every single day."

The Houston Police Officer's Union tweeted, "To our brother Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal, with the Harris County Sheriff's Office, Rest in Peace, sir." 

KPRC 2 has only heard high praise about Dhaliwal

"He was always looking out for people he, my God, I just can't believe this is happening," John Echols said. 

"I left my garage door open one time and my dog was out and he pulled in front of my street and just sat there in front of my driveway and stuff and worried about my dog being loose," David Kent said. 

"He knows me, I know him, he knows my family, our neighbors, we all know him so it's just really sad that he got shot," Tyler Adams said. 

More politicians react

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo issued the following statement:

"We are heartbroken to learn that Deputy Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal - a father, husband, and ten-year veteran of the Harris County Sheriff's Office - was taken away from us today. He was an extraordinary public servant and an enduring example of what it means to protect and serve. 

"Throughout his life, Deputy Dhaliwal's service stretched far beyond his work on patrol. He contributed meaningful support in our county after Hurricane Harvey by mobilizing support and resources for survivors. He also helped redefine what it means to be an officer in the most diverse county in America.  A man of faith, Deputy Dhaliwal once said, "As a Sikh American, I felt the need to represent the Sikh community in law enforcement. Serving in the police force is natural to us, as Sikhs value service." In that spirit, he made history by becoming the first Harris County Sheriff's Deputy to wear articles of religion while on duty. And in so doing, Deputy Dhaliwal inspired the community around him. 

"Each day he went to work, Deputy Dhaliwal put his life in danger to protect us. We owe him a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid. We stand with our entire law enforcement community and others across the county and the nation in offering our condolences to his family."

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