Local officers pay tribute to fallen Texas deputy

Texas Gov. has asked the public to participate by wearing blue Friday and flashing vehicle lights during the observance


By Victoria Aldrich
Kerrville Daily Times

HOUSTON — It’s been one week since Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Darren Goforth was gunned down at a Houston gas station, but he won’t go to his grave alone.

“We are going to turn on our lights and sirens,” Kerr County Sheriff Rusty Hierholzer said.

Gov. Greg Abbott issued a request Thursday asking all law enforcement and firefighters to turn on red and blue lights for a minute at 11 a.m. today, when Goforth’s funeral will begin at Second Baptist Church in Houston.

Kerr County Sheriff’s Office, Kerrville Police Department, Ingram Marshal’s Office, Kerr County Constables offices, Kerrville firefighters and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officers will begin assembling in the Kerr County Courthouse parking lot after 10:30 a.m.

Kerrville Police officers who are in the field also will stop and turn on their lights, Kerrville Police spokesman Ben Eubank said.

Abbott also has asked the public to participate by wearing blue Friday and flashing vehicle lights during the observance.

Goforth will be buried in Houston’s Woodlawn Cemetery. Public support has been strong since the 10-year veteran was killed, Harris County Sheriff’s Office public information officer Thomas Gilliland said.

“Probably within 24 hours, we saw a groundswell of support from Harris County residents,” Gilliland said. “It’s been incredible and it’s blossomed all week. We tend to forget that a lot of people do support law enforcement.”

Goforth served as a road deputy for eight years before transferring as a contract deputy serving Houston’s Stone Gate community.

“He was a great deputy,” Gilliland said. “He was well-liked in the community.” 

Goforth leaves behind a wife and two children.

Donations are being accepted on their behalf at www.gofundme.com/ar2yzfrw, and by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Benevolence Association, 4211 Broadleaf St., Kingwood, TX 77345.

The GoFundMe account had raised $212,065 of a $250,000 goal on Thursday.

Donations also are being accepted by the Houston-based 100 Club, an organization that provides financial and educational assistance for the dependents of deceased firefighters and police.

For more information, visit www.the100club.org.

The observance comes at a sensitive time for Texas law enforcement as shootings deaths of both civilians and police continue to escalate.

The Texas Rangers and the Federal Bureau of Investigations continue to unravel the apparent murder of Abilene policeman Don Allen, who was found dead at home by family members Monday in Clyde.

Investigators obtained a search warrant earlier this week to examine cellphone tower records to track multiple individuals believed to have been part of the shooting, according to Abilene-based Big Country Homepage. 

Allen’s funeral is at 10 a.m. today in Abilene.

Investigators also are looking at whether San Antonio resident Gilbert Flores was holding a knife when he was shot to death by two Bexar County deputies Aug. 28 during a domestic disturbance call.

Copyright 2015 the Kerrville Daily Times

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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