Darren Goforth: As Houston Mourns Sheriff’s Deputy, Cops Try To Figure Out Alleged Gunman’s Motive

Darren Goforth

As Houston mourns the loss of Sheriff’s Deputy Darren Goforth, who was gunned down in an apparently unprovoked attack Friday night while pumping gas, investigators are trying to determine a possible motive for the alleged gunman, 30-year-old Shannon J. Miles, Associated Press is reporting.

At about 8:30 p.m. on Friday, according to KTRK, 47-year-old Goforth was pumping gas at a Chevron station in an area of upscale homes in suburban Houston, when a gunman approached him from behind and fired multiple shots, point-blank. After Goforth fell to the ground, the gunman fired even more shots into him, never saying a word. Goforth was pronounced dead at the scene.

Thirty-year-old Shannon J. Mills was arrested early Saturday morning in connection with Goforth’s murder. As of this post, the circumstances of his arrest have not been made public. At a Saturday press conference, Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman praised his department for apprehending Mills quickly.

“I am proud of the men and women that have worked swiftly to apprehend the responsible person who posed a significant threat to both law enforcement and the community at large. Our deputies return to the streets tonight to hold a delicate peace that was shattered last evening.”

Mills is a career criminal with a record of brushes with the law dating back to 2005. He’s done several short stints in jail, ranging from five to ten days, for crimes such as giving false information to police, disorderly conduct, and evading arrest. Mills is not known to have ever had any connection with Goforth, and Hickman said he believes Mills targeted Goforth for no other reason than the fact that he was a cop.

“Our assumption is that he was a target because he wore a uniform.”

Hickman also suggested that what he sees as an anti-police climate in this country played a role in the killing.

“I think that’s something that we have to keep an eye on. The general climate of that kind of rhetoric can be influential on people to do things like this. We’re still searching to find out if that’s actually a motive.”

Shannon Mills was officially charged with capital murder on Saturday for the killing of Darren Goforth; as of this post, Mills has not yet been arraigned on the charges.

[Image courtesy of: Harris County Sheriff via KTRK]