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Texas Deputy ‘Ambushed’ During ‘Routine Traffic Stop,’ Say Police

HOUSTON, Texas — A man stepped out of his car near the end of a “routine traffic stop” and ambushed a Harris County Sheriff’s Office deputy on Friday afternoon. The execution of Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal came as he returned to his car after a pleasant conversation with the driver, officials stated. Dhaliwal later died from his wounds.
Harris County Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal pulled the driver of a car over for what he believed to be a routine traffic stop shortly after noon on Friday afternoon, according to information provided by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. Near the end of the traffic stop, Deputy Dhaliwal completed what appeared to be a pleasant, non-confrontational conversation with the driver and turned to walk back to his car. As he approached his car, the driver got out of his car with a gun and ran toward the deputy. He opened fire and shot the deputy in the back of the head, sheriff’s office Major Mike Lee said during a press conference. After allegedly shooting Dahliwal in the back of his head, the suspect fled the scene leaving the deputy mortally wounded in the street on Houston’s west side. Lee called the traffic stop the kind of “routine traffic stop we do every day.”

Multiple police agencies responded to the shooting. Deputies distributed photos of the shooter obtained from Dhaliwal’s patrol vehicle dash camera to assist in the search for the shooting suspect. A deputy found the suspect at a business near the shooting, Major Lee stated.

The suspect appeared nervous and appeared to match the photos distributed by police. The deputy took the suspect and a female passenger from his vehicle into custody. Deputies found what is believed to be the murder weapon in the same parking lot where they found the suspect. Officials said both suspects are talking with homicide detectives.

A LifeFlight helicopter aircrew transported Deputy Dhaliwal to a trauma center where he later died from his wounds, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said in a tweet.

Words of praise for Deputy Dhaliwal came forward immediately. A practicing Sikh, Deputy Dhaliwal reportedly became the first Sikh law enforcement officer in the United States to wear his Sikh turbin and beard while on duty and in uniform.

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office identified the alleged cop-killer as 47-year-old Robert Solis. Court records obtained by Breitbart Texas reveal the Texas native has a lengthy criminal history that includes a conviction for assault with a deadly weapon. Other charges include aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery, and assault with bodily injury.

Sheriff Ed Gonzales tweeted that the suspect has an active warrant for a parole violation relating to the conviction for Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon.

A Facebook post from about one year ago shows Deputy Dhaliwal distributing supplies during the Hurricane Harvey aftermath.

Former Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia tweeted, “Sandeep leaves behind a beautiful family like this handsome young man! I still can’t believe that I lost another brother!”

Sherrif Garcia, now a Harris County Commissioner, responded to a request from Breitbart Texas and said, “I consider Sandeep as my brother because I have always loved his heart and passion for bringing people together for good! I’ll miss him but will always be grateful for accepting me into his family!”

Texas Governor Greg Abbott responded to the murder of Deputy Dhaliwal, saying:

Today, Cecilia and I join Texans in mourning the loss of the Harris County Sheriff’s deputy who was shot and killed in the line of duty,” said Governor Abbott. “It is with heavy hearts that we send our deepest sympathies to the deputy’s family, friends, and his brothers and sisters in law enforcement. 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. Cecilia and I ask all Texans to join us in praying for the family and the entire Harris County Sheriff’s Department.

Friday night, Sheriff Gonzalez attended an impromptu memorial service for Deputy Dhaliwal.

Authors’ note: Just over four years ago and less than a mile away from today’s murder, we met Deputy Dhaliwal at a memorial following the ambush-murder of Deputy Darren Goforth. Sandeep consoled fellow deputies and others at the scene with his serene demeanor and kindness. It was obvious the kind deputy was loved by his comrades and the public.

Little children responded to his kindness at the event attended by thousands.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.

Lana Shadwick is a writer and legal analyst for Breitbart News. She is a trial lawyer who previously served as a prosecutor and associate judge in Texas. Shadwick can be reached at [email protected]

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