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Texas's First Sikh Deputy Shot Dead In Ambush During A Traffic Stop

Texas's First Sikh Deputy Shot Dead In Ambush During A Traffic Stop

"This guy had a heart of gold, he treated his brothers and sisters in law enforcement as if they were just brothers and sisters. He thought of them before he thought of himself. He thought of the broader community before he thought of himself," said Adrian Garcia, Harris County police commissioner.

The man who made history as the first Sikh to become a deputy at a Houston-area sheriff's department was fatally shot in the head from behind Friday, authorities said, according to CNN. Sandeep Dhaliwal, who was portrayed as a trailblazer who paved the way for other Sikhs to join the department, was conducting a traffic stop when he was shot, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said at a press conference. "He wore the turban, he represented his community with integrity, respect, and pride and he was respected by all," Gonzalez said.



 

Dhaliwal was headed back to his patrol car during the traffic stop when a man got out of the vehicle with a pistol, says Gonzalez. "In a cold-blooded manner, ambush-style, (he) shot Deputy Dhaliwal from behind," Gonzalez said. Robert Solis, 47, has been charged with capital murder in connection with Dhaliwal's murder. A weapon that the deputies believe was used to kill Dhaliwal was also recovered, according to Gonzalez.



 

"It's the worst day, the worst nightmare for any police executive," Gonzalez said. "This guy had a heart of gold, he treated his brothers and sisters in law enforcement as if they were just brothers and sisters. He thought of them before he thought of himself. He thought of the broader community before he thought of himself," said Adrian Garcia, Harris County police commissioner.



 

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner tweeted a statement Friday night that read: Praying and standing with the family and #SikhCommunity of Harris County Sheriff Deputy @sandeepdhaliwa who was fatally shot today. He represented the diversity and inclusiveness of our community and everything that is good. Evil you do not win here. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott released a statement Friday saying "this tragic loss is a grave reminder of the risks that our law enforcement officers face every single day."



 

"I thank the officers who bravely responded to apprehend the suspect, and I assure you that the state of Texas is committed to bringing this killer to justice," Abbott said. Dashcam footage of the shooting was recovered, which showed Dhaliwal speaking with the driver with "no combat, no arguing," according to Maj. Mike Lee, who works with the sheriff's office. 



 

 
Dhaliwal shut the driver's door, as the driver remained in the vehicle, Lee said. As Dhaliwal turned to walk back to his patrol car, the driver's side door opened and a man could be seen exiting the vehicle "almost immediately running with a gun already out," Lee said. The dashcam captured the fatal moment Dhaliwal was shot from behind. He was shot in the back of the head, Lee added.



 

The shooter returned to his vehicle and drove away, Lee said. A nearby resident saw the shooting and rushed to help the deputy, Lee said while mentioning that the dashcam did manage to capture a picture of the shooter. The shooter, described as a Hispanic male, was found at a business less than a mile away from where the shooting took place, Lee said. A woman, who deputies said was also in the vehicle, was also taken into custody, Lee added.



 

Dhaliwal's body was taken to the medical examiner's office, and deputies lined the walkway from the van to the medical examiner's office in a show of respect and solidarity. The trailblazer was a 10-year veteran who is survived by his wife and three children. Dhaliwal's the reason why there are other Sikh deputies now. "There are simply no words to adequately express our heartbreak, our sadness at this time," Gonzalez said.



 



 

Disclaimer : This is based on sources and we have been unable to verify this information independently.

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