HOUSTON, Texas — Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson read the charges against alleged cop killer Shannon Miles and said he shot the deputy a total of 15 times. The man accused of shooting Harris County Deputy Darren Goforth appeared in court in Houston, Texas, on Monday morning surrounded by a dozen deputies.
He has been charged with capital murder of a peace officer. The felony charge can include the death penalty.
Deputy Goforth was shot execution-style at a gas station on Friday night. The officer was in uniform and was putting gas in his patrol car at a Chevron station in northwest Houston.
Witnesses told Breitbart Texas that the shooter shot the deputy in the back of the head and in the back.
The formal charge (placed below) states that:
SHANNON J. MILES, hereinafter styled the Defendant, heretofore on or about August 28, 2015, did then and there unlawfully, intentionally, and knowingly cause the death of D. GOFORTH, hereafter styled the Complainant, a PEACE OFFICER in the lawful discharge of an official duty, by SHOOTING THE COMPLAINANT WITH A DEADLY WEAPON NAMELY A FIREARM, knowing at the time that the Complainant was a PEACE OFFICER.
Harris County DA Devon Anderson, a former criminal district court judge and prosecutor, will be trying the capital murder case against Miles.
The decision whether or not to seek the death penalty will be determined later, said a spokesman with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott, issued an order that all flags in Harris County be flown at half-staff in honor of the slain deputy.
“Texas has sustained a deliberate and heinous crime against a law enforcement officer in Harris County,” Governor Abbott said in a letter to Harris County Judge Ed Emmett. “Texans revere the men and women in law enforcement who put their lives on the line every day to protect and service their communities. As such, it is fitting that Texas flags should be lowered to half-staff in memory of this dedicated and brave deputy sheriff.”
The Texas flags located at the state capitol in Austin will also be lowered to half-staff in honor of this directive.
The outpouring of support for Deputy Goforth and for his family, and for all law enforcement officers, has been overwhelming in the county.
One night after Deputy Darren Goforth was executed at the Chevron station in Houston, over a thousand people gathered at the site to memorialize the man who was apparently murdered simply because he wore a police uniform, as reported by Breitbart Texas. Thousands more gathered on Sunday night to walk the streets in the suburban neighborhood where he was killed.
As reported by Breitbart Texas, the escalation of anti-white and anti-cop rhetoric has been building since militant black activists began marching in support of #BlackLivesMatter after the suicide of Sandra Bland. At protests at the jail where Bland killed herself, a radical activist called for all white people to be killed, and heavily armed members of the New Black Panther Party chanted “the revolution has started … off the pigs.” A Texas-based internet radio show called for the lynching of whites and the killing of police officers. Last week, two white journalists and a white deputy sheriff have been assassinated by blacks who appear to be carrying out the message of hate.
“This rhetoric has gotten out of control,” Sheriff Ron Hickman said during a press conference attended by two Breitbart Texas journalists this past weekend.
“We’ve heard ‘black lives matter,’ ‘all lives matter,’ well cops’ lives matter too,” said the leader of the third largest sheriff’s office in the country.
The visibly emotional Hickman continued, “Why don’t we just drop the qualifier and say ‘lives matter.’ Take that to the bank.”
“At this point,” referring to the executed deputy, the sheriff said, “he was only targeted because he was wearing a uniform.”
Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson joined Hickman during that press conference and emphatically stated, “It is time for the silent majority in this country to support law enforcement.” She added, “There are a few bad apples in every profession.”
Anderson continued, “But that does not mean that there should be open warfare declared on law enforcement.”
As for his deputies’ safety, Hickman said, “Any time you have a clearly unprovoked attack, you have to take steps to protect yourself.” He called on his deputies to be vigilant of their surroundings and to work in teams, especially at night.
Miles is being represented by two court-appointed attorneys. He will be held in the Harris County Jail without bond.
Lana Shadwick is a contributing writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served as a prosecutor and an associate judge. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2