Houston-area police department's first Sikh deputy fatally shot

Sandeep Dhaliwal, the first Sikh American to become a deputy at a Houston-area sheriff's department, was shot and killed Friday.

Dhaliwal was conducting a routine traffic stop when he was shot in the head from behind, police said.

Houston police took Robert Solis, 47, into custody and have since charged him with capital murder.

Dhaliwal was a 10-year veteran of the department and was lauded by his former colleagues and members of the community.

"He wore the turban, he represented his community with integrity, respect and pride, and he was respected by all," Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said in a press conference.
ADVERTISEMENT
 
Harris County Police Commissioner Adrian Garcia added, "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."
 
In 2015, the Harris County Sheriff's Office rolled out a policy that allowed Dhaliwal to wear his turban on duty.
Gonzalez described Dhaliwal as a trailblazer multiple times during the press conference and noted that there are more Sikh deputies on the force now because of him.
 
"There's simply no words to adequately express our heartbreak, our sadness at this time," Gonzalez said.
 
Dhaliwal is survived by his wife and three children.