Suspect in Houston officer shooting to appear in court Monday – Reuters


A 30-year-old Houston man with an extensive criminal history is expected to appear in court on Monday charged with capital murder of a police officer, an incident the local sheriff tied to the “Black Lives Matter” campaign against police violence.

The accused man, Shannon Miles, is scheduled to appear in Harris County District Court, records show.

Miles is accused of shooting deputy Darren Goforth on Friday evening at a Houston gas station, sheriff’s officials said.

Authorities said the gunman approached Goforth, a 10-year veteran officer, from behind as Goforth was gassing up his patrol car and shot him in the back, then shot him more times as he lay on the ground.

Goforth’s wife, Kathleen, described her late husband as “an incredibly intricate blend of toughness and gentility” in a statement released to NBC affiliate KPRC in Houston.

“He was loyal … fiercely so. And he was ethical; the right thing to do is what guided his internal compass. I admired this quality, perhaps, the most,” she said.

Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman has linked the shooting to anti-police rhetoric following protests against deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of white officers. Goforth was white, the suspect is black.

Hickman on Saturday said the shooting appeared to be unprovoked, though investigators had not yet established a motive. He said the slain officer had no known previous contact with Miles.

The fatal shooting comes eight months after two New York police officers were ambushed by a gunman who had said he wanted to avenge the deaths of black men in confrontations with police.

Hickman said the department assumed Goforth was a target because he wore a uniform.

“We’ve heard black lives matter; all lives matter. Well cops’ lives matter too,” Hickman said. “At any point where the rhetoric ramps up to the point where calculated cold-blooded assassination of police officers happen(s), this rhetoric has gotten out of control.”

Miles was taken into custody early on Saturday following the shooting, which was captured on surveillance video, authorities said.

During the last decade, Miles has been convicted of several crimes including resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and trespassing, according to court records.

There have been 24 firearms-related deaths of law enforcement officers this year, compared with 30 during the same period in 2014, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund said.

(Reporting by Brendan O’Brien, Kevin Murphy and Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Chris Michaud, William Hardy and Leslie Adler)

Comments

Write a Reply or Comment:

Your email address will not be published.*