Deputy Darren Goforth, 47, has just left an accident scene when he stopped by a gas station on Telge and West Road. As he was pumping gas, a man approached him from behind, said nothing and fired multiple shots. Once the deputy fell to the ground, the suspect fired more shots. Deputy Goforth was pronounced dead on the scene.
Goforth was a 10-year veteran of the Harris County Sheriff's Office, assigned to the west district patrol. He leaves behind a wife and two children.
"This is a very tough moment right now for the Harris County Sheriff's Office. I can ask you if you give us your prayers and your thoughts," said Deputy Thomas Gilliland with the Harris County Sheriff's Office. "It's tough enough being a deputy and being in law enforcement in this country right now, but for people, the way that they are right now, I have no words for what this type of person did."
Now a manhunt for that suspect is underway. Officers described him only as a dark-complexioned man who's about 5 feet 11 inches tall. He had short hair, possibly a fade cut. He was wearing a white T-shirt and red shorts at the time of the shooting and fled the scene in a dark red Ford Ranger.
"It strikes us all at the heart of public service," said Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman, who vowed to hunt the suspect down.
"It's an act of cowardice and brutality the likes of which I've never seen," added Harris County DA Devon Anderson.
Mckenzie Stalter heard the shots ring out.
"We were driving on West Road and we heard the shots, and when I turned and looked, the lady was screaming over top of him. So we busted a U-turn into the parking lot and that's when we saw what had happened," Stalter said.
Stalter says she saw a woman sobbing over Deputy Goforth's body.
"She was laying on top him. She was saying that was her best friend and that he had two kids," she said.
Tonight we lost one of our brothers. This is an extremely difficult time right now for the Harris County Sheriff's Office. #ThinBlueLine— HCSOTexas (@HCSOTexas) August 29, 2015
Stalter says the suspect was gone by the time she had pulled into the parking lot and called 911.
This shooting marks the first time a Texas law enforcement officer was fatally shot this year. This is the first officer slaying in the Houston-area since 2012.
Anyone with information regarding the suspect's whereabouts is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS. null