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Houston-area shooting has local law enforcement agencies on high alert

Posted August 31, 2015

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— The murder of a Houston-area deputy has put law enforcement agencies on high alert across the country and the Triangle.

According to authorities, Shannon J. Miles shot Deputy Darren Goforth, a 10-year veteran, in the back of the head while he was pumping gas at about 8:20 p.m. Friday. He died at the gas station in Cypress, Texas.

Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said Goforth’s slaying hits close to home.

"Make sure you're looking over your shoulder, and that's sad, but unfortunately we've got to do that," Harrison said.

In 1972, as a young trooper, Harrison was shot in the hand when an unarmed suspect grabbed his gun.

"I was shot, and I was dealing with an unarmed person," he said. "It can happen, and it can happen quickly."

Harrison said he tells his team to rely on their training and to not hesitate.

"I'd rather have 12 people find them guilty than six people carrying them to the grave," Harrison said.

Sgt. Michael Baker, a spokesperson for the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, described the stress level for local law enforcement officers and military personnel as very high.

"You can be sitting down drinking a cup of coffee one minute, to defending your life the next," he said.

Baker said even when off-duty, the current climate has a chilling effect.

"I know myself, when I am off-duty I don't wear anything that resembles law enforcement or anything with the highway patrol insignia on it," Baker said. "At this point, I feel like it kind of puts my family in jeopardy."

Harrison said he believes some law enforcement officers will turn away from their jobs because of the ongoing threat.

"There are some that are borderline. They don't really want to be law enforcement officers or not," he said. "I think some of them will go home because of this, because of the fear factor."

Miles, who allegedly ambushed Goforth and shot him 15 times, is charged with capital murder.


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  • Clinton Tingen Sep 1, 2015
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    Apparently you missed my point. What I said was, if borderline cops leave then good. Being a LEO is a great service to the community when it is done right. There are too many LEO's that feel the rules do not apply to them. Or that pesky Constitution simply interferes with them doing their "jobs" My point to the judged by 12 than carried by 6 is that while yes, LEO's have the right to defend themselves, the act of taking a human life should not be as simple as well I'll do this and let a jury sort it out. And obviously you read my comment wrong if you thought it said somewhere that all LEO's are disrespectful or on a career path to discharge their service weapon. You also must have missed the where I said I once wore the badge myself. I in no way support taking innocent lives, white, black, yellow, or BLUE.

  • Ray Lee Smythe Aug 31, 2015
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    This will not end well.

  • Amy LaFluer Aug 31, 2015
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    What Sheriff Harrison said was dead on. Your comment "They shouldn't be LEO's on the first place", who do you think he is referring too. Bad officers? Are you serious...They are already doing whatever with no regrets....It's the good ones who are leaving... the ones who wanted to help their Communities. And what is deplorable is that you too are acting like all officers are on a career path to shoot citizens or act as disrespectful.....and to kill people for the actions of a few is ridiculous....and to act as if it makes since is just as ridiculous. And the ones who are good caring officers who are serving their communities to be shot at and being killed...for something that happen in different states..... god forbid they protect their self ......better to be judge by 12..

  • Clinton Tingen Aug 31, 2015
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    While this act is heinous and deplorable, Harrison and Baker are spot on with their comments as well as what is wrong with law enforcement. The judged by 12 than carried by 6 line has gone on too long. I lived by it once too. Baker's comments about attire are simple good terrorism awareness and let's face it, that's what happened in Texas. As for Sheriff Harrison's comments on borderline officers turning to a different career.....good! They shouldn't be LEO's on the first place. Law enforcement is a service to your community not a career path to shoot citizens or act as disrespectful as so many local LEO's are these days. And before I receive the typical responses, I served my Country and I wore a badge. I know the life the stress the codes. If the Billy BA's cops get out because of this then there will be only 1 good effect