Who Was Darren Goforth, The Texas Sheriff's Deputy Who Was Killed At A Gas Station?

On Friday, Harris County Sheriff's Deputy Darren Goforth stopped at a gas station near Houston. As he was filling his tank, a suspected gunman, later identified by authorities as Shannon Miles, allegedly ran up to and immediately opened fire on the officer in the presence of a witness, reportedly unloading his entire pistol and killing the deputy on the scene. Officials said they found 15 shell casings at the gas station, where Goforth, who was 47 years old when he died, was found face down in a pool of blood. His brother-in-law, Stephen Allison, took a moment to remember Goforth in an interview with ABC News.

He was the rock in that family. The kids loved him. ... I didn't have a brother. ... When they got together he was like the only other brother in my family.

Goforth was a 10-year veteran of the Harris County Sheriff's Office and is survived by his wife Kathleen and their two children. On Saturday evening, Kathleen Goforth issued a statement of her own to remember and honor her husband.

There are no words for this. All the language that I know is inadequate for what I want to express. But for Darren, I will try. I can't describe him with cliches and platitudes. My husband was an incredibly intricate blend of toughness and gentility. 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. For that was what made Darren good. And he was good. So, if people want to know the kind of man he was... This is it. He was who you wanted for a friend, a colleague, and a neighbor. However, it was I who was blessed so richly that I had the privilege of calling him my husband and my best friend.

President Obama released a statement about Goforth's death on Monday, indicating that he had called Kathleen to offer his condolences and prayers and making a broader comment about law enforcement.

I also promised that I would continue to highlight the uncommon bravery that police officers show in our communities every single day. They put their lives on the line for our safety. Targeting police officers is completely unacceptable — an affront to civilized society.
Alex Wong/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman said that the shooting seemed to be unprovoked, but that Goforth seemed to be a target because he wore a uniform. Hickman attempted to link the shooting to the tensions between black people and law enforcement in the area — Goforth was white and Miles was black — by saying that cops' lives matter, but there is no confirmed motive for the attack and there is no evidence that Goforth and Miles knew one another.

Goforth was the first Texas police officer to be shot in the line of duty this year.