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Suspect in Execution-style Shooting of Texas Lawman Held Without Bail

  • VOA News

This undated photo provided by the Harris County (Texas) Sheriff's Office shows Sheriff's Deputy Darren Goforth, who was fatally shot Aug. 28, 2015.

This undated photo provided by the Harris County (Texas) Sheriff's Office shows Sheriff's Deputy Darren Goforth, who was fatally shot Aug. 28, 2015.

An African American man suspected of the execution-style shooting of a white Texas lawman during an ambush at a gas station has appeared in court.

Shannon Miles is charged with capital murder in the fatal shooting of Sheriff's Deputy Darren Goforth. Miles is being held without bail.

He did not enter a plea at Monday's court proceeding, where a judge detailed the case against him.

Officials say Goforth was pumping fuel at a gas station Friday night when a gunman approached him from behind and first shot him in the back of the head. He then shot him 14 more times, emptying his gun.

President Barack Obama called Kathleen Goforth, the widow of the sheriff's deputy, on Monday. A White House statement said Obama offered his condolences and promised to continue to highlight the "uncommon bravery that police officers show in our community every single day."

"Targeting police officers is completely unacceptable - an affront to civilized society," the statement said.

Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman said the attack was "clearly unprovoked," and that there is no evidence that Goforth knew Miles. He said the assumption is that the suspect targeted Hickman because he was an officer.

Investigators say a weapon recovered at the scene was a match for one registered to Miles.

The 30-year-old suspect has a previous criminal record that includes trespassing and disorderly conduct.

A day after Friday's murder, Hickman said investigators were trying to determine whether the suspect was motivated by anger over the widely publicized deaths of several unarmed young black men at the hands of police.

He said the increasingly heated rhetoric regarding police relations with the American public has "gotten out of control."

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