Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Thousands Turn out to Honor Slain Texas Deputy

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Thousands Turn out to Honor Slain Texas Deputy

Article excerpt

Thousands of mourners gathered in Houston Friday for the funeral of Harris County Sheriff's Deputy Darren Goforth.

Deputy Goforth died on Aug. 28 when a gunman came up behind him at a suburban gas station and shot him in the back while he was fueling his patrol car.

The 7,000-seat Second Baptist Church in West Houston filled to capacity for the funeral. Thousands more mourners watched a broadcast of the ceremony in nearby annexes of the church. The service was followed by an outdoor "end of watch" ceremony that included a 21-gun salute, a procession with a riderless horse, and a police helicopter flyover.

Goforth will be buried in a private ceremony later this afternoon. The deputy is survived by his wife and two children, ages 5 and 12.

Kathleen Goforth described her husband, in an interview with local station KTRK, as "an incredible, intricate blend of toughness and gentility."

"He was who you wanted for a friend, a colleague, and a neighbor," she said.

Deputy's widow salutes honor guard as she and 8000 mourners enter 2nd Baptist Church #bluehouston @KHOU Kevin Reece (@KReeceKHOU) September 4, 2015

Police and law enforcement personnel from as far away as California and New York attended the public service earlier this afternoon, where community members and Goforth's colleagues recounted stories of the deputy.

Police from as far away as New York arrive for @HCSOTexas deputy funeral #support #BlueHouston @KHOU Kevin Reece (@KReeceKHOU) September 4, 2015

In support of our fallen brothers & sisters #DeputyDarrenGoforth #BlueHouston @NationalSheriff Tempe Police (@TempePolice) September 4, 2015

Roland De Los Santos, a lieutenant with the Houston Police Department, described Goforth as "a loving husband and father." Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman said during a eulogy that Goforth "was one of the good guys."

Sgt. Shannon Bowdoin, the chaplain for the Harris County Sheriff's Office, told the Goforth children in a speech during the service that they "just inherited 4,000 surrogate parents. You are not going to walk alone. …

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