A sheriff’s deputy in Texas who was an observant Sikh and garnered nationwide consideration for gaining permission to put on a turban as a part of his uniform was shot and killed on Friday close to Houston in what officers described as an ambush throughout a visitors cease.
Maj. Mike Lee of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office mentioned that the deputy, Sandeep Dhaliwal, made the cease at 12:23 p.m. native time, and that nothing gave the impression to be out of the unusual.
The deputy was talking with the driving force for about two minutes and “it looked to be just conversational,” Major Lee mentioned during a news conference, citing a evaluation of dashboard digital camera footage from the visitors cease.
“There was no combat, no arguing,” the most important mentioned. “It looked like a routine traffic stop that we conduct every day.”
The driver remained within the automotive. The deputy began to go again to his patrol automobile, and inside three to 5 seconds, the door on the driving force’s facet of the stopped automotive opened and the driving force, brandishing a gun, ran up behind the deputy and “basically ambushed” him, taking pictures him behind the pinnacle, Major Lee mentioned.
A girl doing yard work who noticed the visitors cease heard two gunshots and noticed the gunman flee, the most important mentioned. She known as 911 and regulation enforcement officers descended on the scene.
Major Lee mentioned officers obtained a picture of the gunman from the dashboard digital camera video and circulated it. The gunman was discovered inside a enterprise a couple of quarter of a mile away.
“A deputy observed that he looked a little nervous and put him in custody,” the most important mentioned. “And that did turn out to be our shooter.”
Late Friday, the police identified the gunman as Robert Solis, 47, and mentioned that he had been charged with capital homicide. Mr. Solis had an energetic parole violation warrant for aggravated assault with a lethal weapon from 2017, Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said on Twitter.
A weapon believed for use within the taking pictures was recovered. A girl who was a passenger within the suspect’s automotive was additionally taken into custody. There was no phrase on a doable motive for the taking pictures.
Deputy Dhaliwal garnered nationwide consideration in 2015 after the sheriff’s workplace allowed him to put on his conventional articles of religion, together with a turban and a beard, whereas on patrol. Observant Sikhs put on turbans, overlaying their uncut hair, which they name kesh as a part of their religion.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office is the most important within the nation to have “a full-time Sikh American officer with his articles of faith intact due to a religious accommodation exception to their dress code policy,” the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund said in a statement praising the policy shift in 2015.
At a news conference, Sheriff Gonzalez mentioned Deputy Dhaliwal was a 10-year veteran of the sheriff’s workplace, a father of three kids and “was known to everybody as someone with a giving heart.”
He mentioned the deputy had organized a tractor-trailer of provides to be delivered from California after Hurricane Harvey, and had traveled to Puerto Rico to assist a colleague with hurricane reduction efforts there.
The sheriff mentioned the deputy “represented his community with integrity, respect and pride.”
In a press release, the mayor of Houston, Sylvester Turner, known as Deputy Dhaliwal “a bold and groundbreaking law enforcement officer in the eyes of our county, our state, our nation.”
“The story of him putting the Sikh imperative of ‘seva’ — selfless service — on display as a peacekeeper went worldwide,” the mayor mentioned. “In that role he was a walking lesson in tolerance and understanding, which are values Houstonians uphold here in the nation’s most diverse big city.”
One Twitter user, Gurpuneet Singh, described the deputy as an inspiration to the Sikh group.
Deputy Dhaliwal “brought about awareness in a wonderful way’’ within the sheriff’s office “and raised a new wave of pride in the generations to come,” Mr. Singh wrote.
Mariel Padilla, Vivian Ewing and Manny Fernandez contributed reporting.