A Texas sheriff’s deputy stopped to fill up his patrol car at a Harris County gas station Friday night when a man approached from behind and “literally shot him to death,” Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman said.
Deputy Darren Goforth, 47, died after being shot several times. Local and federal officials have launched a manhunt in the Houston area for the suspect in what Hickman described as “an unprovoked, execution-style killing of a police officer.”
“We will hunt this person down and do our best to bring that person to justice,” Hickman said at a news conference.
On Saturday morning, authorities were speaking with a person as part of the investigation, a Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman told The Post.
That individual, who may have information about the shooting, is not considered a suspect or a person of interest and the manhunt continues, Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Thomas Gilliland told the Associated Press.
Police released grainy surveillance photos and guessed the suspect to be between 20 and 25 years old. He fled the scene of the shooting in a red or maroon Ford Ranger truck.
Goforth had just finished working an incident and stopped at a Chevron to pump gas into his car. “A male suspect came up behind the deputy and shot the deputy multiple times. The deputy then fell to the ground,” Gilliland told reporters. “The suspect then continued over to him and shot the deputy again multiple times as he laid on the ground.”
A witness called 911 to report the shooting, Gilliland said.
Goforth, a 10-year veteran of the force, is survived by a wife and two children.
“It’s a a very, very tough moment right now for the Harris County Sheriff’s Office,” Gilliland said. “I would ask that you keep us in your prayers and your thoughts.”
The incident “strikes us all at the heart of public service,” Hickman said.
“In my 45 years in law enforcement, I can’t recall another incident so cold-blooded and cowardly,” Hickman said, AP reported.
Goforth had been responding to a routine car accident and no motive in the shooting has been determined yet, AP reported.
[This post has been updated.]