HOUSTON - The killing of Deputy Darren Goforth Monday moved well beyond the realm of a mere murder.
Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson says what the gas station video surveillance tape shows is a calculated ambush and a maniacal slaughter.
"He runs up behind Deputy Goforth and puts a gun to the back of his head. Deputy Goforth hits the ground and he continues to unload his gun, shooting repeatedly into the back of Deputy Goforth," said Anderson adding that the lawman was shot 15 times.
But do police and prosecutors have the right man?
With a solid description of the suspect vehicle, investigators quickly matched the red Ford truck with 30 year old Shannon Miles' nearby residence. Anderson says the .40 caliber weapon recovered there is a lock for the cop killing.
"They take the pistol to the firearms lab and get the ballistics done and they get a match, that this is in fact the firearm that fired the casings that were left at the scene," said Anderson.
Bolstering the overwhelming forensic evidence is the testimony of a human who saw the killing and the killer.
"In addition there is a witness who viewed a video line-up with the defendant in it and he positively identified Shannon Miles as the shooter," said Anderson.
Facing possible execution in the Texas Death Chamber if convicted, Miles was ordered held without bond.
He said nothing at the court hearing and was appointed defense counsel.
Amid overwhelming support for the fallen lawman and those like him Anderson offered a resounding message to a shaken community.
"This crime is not going to divide us. This crime is going to unite us."
On Monday, President Obama released the following statement on the tragedy:
This afternoon, on my way to Alaska, I called Kathleen Goforth, the widow of Harris County Deputy Sheriff Darren Goforth - a veteran law enforcement officer who was contemptibly shot and killed over the weekend. On behalf of the American people, I offered Mrs. Goforth my condolences, and told her that Michelle and I would keep her and her family in our prayers. I also promised that I would continue to highlight the uncommon bravery that police officers show in our communities every single day. They put their lives on the line for our safety. Targeting police officers is completely unacceptable - an affront to civilized society. As I said in my State of the Union Address, we've got to be able to put ourselves in the shoes of the wife who won't rest until the police officer she married walks through the door at the end of his shift. That comfort has been taken from Mrs. Goforth. So we must offer her our comfort - and continue to stand up for the safety of police officers wherever they serve.