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The man accused of gunning down a sheriff's deputy at a Houston gas station Friday made his first court appearance Monday. Shannon J. Miles, 30, appeared in District court, and is being held without bond. He has two court appointed attorneys, The Associated Press reported.
Here are four things you need to know about the victim and the man they said took the officer's life.
What happened? Harris County Sheriff's Office Deputy Darren Goforth was gunned down while filling up gas in his patrol car Friday. The shooter then stood over Goforth, shooting him multiple times before fleeing in a red Ford pick up truck.
Who is the suspect? Shannon J. Miles, 30, was arrested and charged with killing the deputy early Saturday morning.
“Routine research led our deputies to arresting this suspect, bringing justice and peace to our deputies and community,” officials said in a statement.
Miles has a previous record which includes charges of disorderly conduct with a firearm trespassing and resisting arrest.
His attorney said his client intended to plead not guilty. The only thing linking Miles to the crime is a handgun. Police said the shell casings left at the gas station match a firearm. The defense said they plan on having independent ballistics test done.
Who is the victim? Goforth, 47, was a 10-year veteran of the force. He had a wife and two children. The 100 Club of Houston, a charity helping first responders, is giving the Goforth family $20,000. A memorial emerged at the pump at the Chevron station where Goforth was shot. The station was open, but that pump was off Saturday. Later in the evening, residents gathered at the gas station for a vigil in honor of Goforth.
Why? There does not appear to be any motive, other than Goforth was wearing a uniform, investigators have said.
The incident appears to be unprovoked. There was no previous contact between the deputy and Miles.
“We have not been able to extract any details regarding a motive at this point,” Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman said during a press conference Saturday afternoon.
Investigators still are poring over evidence and interviewing witnesses, officials said.
However, investigators have not ruled out that race could have played a factor.
"I think that's something that we have to keep an eye on," Hickman said to the Associated Press. "The general climate of that kind of rhetoric can be influential on people to do things like this. We're still searching to find out if that's actually a motive."
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