Sheriff’s Deputy Darren H. Goforth of Harris County, Texas, was gunned down “execution style” on Aug. 28. The next day, hundreds gathered at the gas station where he was shot to mourn the 47-year-old father of two.
"When we were younger and we used to be home alone, he would always drive by and check to make sure we were OK,” local Simone Langland told NBC News. "It's just so sad, and it's not fair he couldn't even defend himself.”
Prosecutors say Shannon Miles, 30, ambushed Goforth and he has since been charged with capital murder. Although a motive hasn’t been confirmed, many speculate the murder was race related. Goforth was white and Miles is black.
Carol Hayes, who is black, attended the vigil. "I wanted to demonstrate that all lives matter, regardless of color,” she said.
Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson said he also believes some of the rhetoric around race is “dangerous,” CNN reported. "There are a few bad apples in every profession," Anderson said. "That does not mean there should be open warfare declared on law enforcement.”
Sheriff Ron Hickman agreed. "When the rhetoric ramps up to the point where calculated, cold-blooded assassination of police officers happen, this rhetoric has gotten out of control,” he said.
"We've heard 'black lives matter,' 'all lives matter.' Well, cops' lives matter, too. So why don't we just drop the qualifier, and just say 'lives matter,' and take that to the bank."
Note: In the original version of this article, Goforth was misspelled.