Houston, United States
VIJAY SHAH via ABC13
A ‘pioneering’ deputy sheriff on traffic duty near the Texas, United States city of Houston has died after he was shot in the back while making a routine traffic stop and search, news outlets ABC13 and ABC7 Eyewitness News reported yesterday.
The policeman, named as Sandeep Dhaliwal, was manning a traffic checkpoint on the 14800 block of Willancy Court near West Road in northwest Harris County when he was targeted by an assailant on Friday last week. He was rushed to the Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center hospital by air ambulance but died from his injuries, according to sources from the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.
Dhaliwal’s superior, county sheriff Ed Gonzalez told ABC7: “I’m sad to share with you that we’ve lost one of our own,”
“There are no words to convey our sadness. Please keep his family and our agency in your prayers.”
Of Indian Punjabi heritage, deputy Dhaliwal, a married father-of-three was the first Sikh to join the county’s sheriff’s department, Gonzalez told a press conference convened in wake of the policeman’s shooting. Dhaliwal has recently completed volunteered policing work on the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico. He had served with the police for ten years.
According to evidence from Dhaliwal’s body camera, the deputy had stopped a driver and was having a conversation with him with ‘no combat, no arguing’, according to Major Mike Lee of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. Once the conversation finished and Dhaliwal was walking back to his patrol car, the driver is seen rushing out of his vehicle with a gun, and then shoots the deputy in the back of the head. A local who was working on his front garden witnessed the murder and tried to help as police arrived on the scene.
The suspect, a male identified by the report as 47-year-old Robert Solis, was arrested at a nearby business premises after his suspiciously nervous behaviour caught the attention of another deputy sheriff. His appearance matched the description of Dhaliwal’s killer as seen on the body cam footage, police said. Solis is currently in custody awaiting charges of capital murder.
In his first court hearing, it was disclosed that Solis had thrown away a semi-automatic gun believed used to shoot the deputy. He also had told investigators Dhaliwal had pulled them over for disregarding a stop sign. The suspect has a long criminal record, with past charges for aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery and driving while intoxicated. He was also listed as a wanted fugitive since 2017 for violating his parole terms concerning a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
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” ‘Pioneering’ deputy dies after being shot from behind: sheriff” – ABC13, ABC7 Eyewitness News/ABC, Inc., WLS-TV Chicago (28 September 2019) https://abc7chicago.com/pioneering-deputy-dies-after-being-shot-from-behind-sheriff/5573573/