America’s first Sikh police officer on Friday (local time) was shot dead in northwest Harris County in Houston.
Sandeep Dhaliwal was a 10-year veteran of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office and a father of three, 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,” he added.
Dhaliwal was conducting a traffic stop, the sheriff said. There were two people in the vehicle. As Dhaliwal was headed back to his patrol car, Gonzalez said a man got out of the vehicle with a pistol.
“In a cold-blooded manner, ambush style, (he) shot Deputy Dhaliwal from behind,” CNN quoted Gonzalez as saying.
Two people are currently in custody in connection with the shooting, the sheriff said, and a weapon was found that deputies believed was used to shoot Dhaliwal.
“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.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott, released a statement on 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.