Deputy Shot From Behind, Killed ‘Execution Style’ At Houston Gas Station

A uniformed sheriff’s deputy was shot from behind and killed at a suburban Houston gas station on Friday night as he stopped to fill his patrol car, precipitating an intense overnight hunt for the suspect.

The incident transpired around 8:30 p.m. Friday night, according to Harris County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Ryan Sullivan. Deputy Darren Goforth, 47, was filling his patrol car when he was approached from behind by a male suspect, thought to be between 20- and 25-years-old. The attacker fired multiple shots, continuing to do so even as Goforth fell to the ground. The deputy died at the scene of the shooting, as Yahoo News reports.

No motive for the deputy’s shooting has yet been established. According to Sheriff’s office spokesman Deputy Thomas Gilliland, Goforth had responded to a routine traffic accident prior to stopping at the Chevron station where the fatal shooting occurred.

An intensive search for the suspect was conducted overnight and resulted in an arrest around 2:30 a.m., according to ABC 13. Led by a tip, police converged on a house on Crystal Lake in Copperfield and arrested a suspect, who has yet to be identified. Investigators have focused on a red pickup truck sitting in the driveway of the house, which apparently matched the description of a vehicle reported at the scene of the shooting.

The suspect was arrested at his mother’s home, and though she neither wished to show her face nor give her name to reporters, the woman nonetheless vouched for her son’s innocence.

“My son is innocent. I was in the house with him, so when that happened, my son was home.”

Deputy Goforth was a 10-year veteran of the force, who leaves behind a wife and two children. Harris County Sheriff’s deputies were joined by officers from the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Houston Police Department in investigating the crime, which has struck Goforth’s fellow police as well, according to Gilliland.

“This is a very tough moment right now for the Harris County Sheriffs Office,” he related. “Keep us in your prayers and in your thoughts.”

[Image: Harris County Sheriff’s Office via Yahoo News]