President Barack Obama called the wife of the Texas deputy who was killed in a surprise attack on Aug. 28 to offer her condolences and tell her he had been praying for her and her family.
The alleged shooter, Shannon Jaruay Miles, 30, reportedly pulled into a gas station near Houston, Texas, and shot Deputy Daren H. Goforth, 47, killing him. Witnesses said Miles approached the deputy from behind and opened fire, in what Sheriff Ron Hickman called an “unprovoked, execution-style killing,” reported TheBlaze.
Miles is accused of emptying his 15-round handgun into the deputy's back as well as the back of his head as witnesses watched. Surveillance cameras also captured the incident.
Law enforcement officials have said it appeared as though Goforth was targeted because he was a police officer.
Officials who spent the weekend denouncing anti-police “dangerous national rhetoric” have since hesitated to link such sentiments to the case, reported The New York Times.
About three years ago, Miles was found mentally incompetent to stand trial on a charge of felony assault, prosecutors said on Aug. 31.
Miles was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after getting into a fight with a homeless man in a shelter over a television remote control.
The full statement of Obama’s speech follows:
“This afternoon, on my way to Alaska, I called Kathleen Goforth, the widow of Harris County Deputy Sheriff Darren Goforth — a veteran law enforcement officer who was contemptibly shot and killed over the weekend. On behalf of the American people, I offered Mrs. Goforth my condolences, and told her that Michelle and I would keep her and her family in our prayers. 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. As I said in my State of the Union Address, we’ve got to be able to put ourselves in the shoes of the wife who won’t rest until the police officer she married walks through the door at the end of his shift. That comfort has been taken from Mrs. Goforth. So we must offer her our comfort — and continue to stand up for the safety of police officers wherever they serve.”