Sikh Officer Gunned Down During Traffic Stop In Harris County, Suspect Arrested
A deputy who made history as being the first Sikh officer to serve on the Harris County Sherriff’s Department force was tragically gunned down over the weekend.
CNN reports that Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal, 42, a ten year veteran of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office had made a routine traffic stop in a residential neighborhood on Friday, September 27th. There were two occupants in the vehicle. While Deputy Dhaliwal’s back was turned, one of the occupants of the car got out and shot the deputy twice.
According to Sheriff’s Major Mike Lee, footage from Deputy Dhaliwal’s dashcam camera caught the incident which showed no indication of being confrontational or any arguing. Dhaliwal shut the driver’s door at one point and was making his way back to his patrol cruiser when the driver got out and shot Deputy Dhaliwal twice in the back of the head. The driver then got back into his vehicle and fled the scene.
Deputy Dhaliwal was rushed to Hermann Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The driver was found a short time later in a strip shopping center not far away by another deputy and was placed under arrest. A woman who was also believed to have been in the vehicle at the time of the fatal shooting was also placed under arrest.
The suspect has been identified as Robert Solis, 47. Solis is facing a capital murder charge in connection to the death of Deputy Dhaliwal.
Deputy Dhaliwal leaves behind a wife and three children.
“He was a hero. Deputy Dhaliwal was a trailblazer,” Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzales said in a statement.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner spoke during a dedication honoring Deputy Dhaliwal and recounted the Deputy living his Sikh faith in everything he did. He took his generosity and compassion worldwide going to disaster-ravaged areas such as Puerto Rico to bring much-needed aid. During the speech the mayor said that Deputy Dhaliwal; “represented the diversity and inclusiveness of our community and everything that is good.”