HOUSTON (FOX26) - Less than 24 hours after Harris County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Darren Goforth was gunned down, the location of his murder was decorated with flowers, balloons, and heart felt thank yous. For Saturday’s 7pm candlelight vigil, the entire corner lot of the gas station was filled with people greeting officers in attendance with hugs and handshakes. It was as if they hoped to erase the damage of Friday’s horrible crime, and it was greatly appreciated.
“It means the community's come together, along with law enforcement. It means people caring about their officers, and officers caring about their people,” said Deputy Terry Sumner, with Harris County Constable Pct. 4. “We're going to work together and make things better here in this community.”
There were also family friends of Deputy Goforth sharing tearful and personal memories.
“Whenever we were little, he’d come over and I’d always try to get him to handcuff me because I just thought the handcuffs were cool,” Simone Langland said trying to lighten her grief. “If we were staying home alone, he'd come check on us. And when we were out of town, he’d make sure our house was okay.”
She was standing with, Mikayla Delossantos, who also knew the deputy.
“It's very tragic this had to happen. He was a really good guy and good officer,” Delossantos said, adding that her father is a Houston police officer.. “I know that there are people in this world that think all cops are bad, and it's not true. There's always going to be bad apples in the bunch, but he wasn't one of those.”
The turnout surprised even the organizers of the vigil, but it seemed clear every individual came to make a statement.
“I know, everything that's going on around the world, and around here in the United States, with the citizens and the police officers,” Liz Mitchell said, “But you can't take the law into your own hands and do something like this. It’s just heartbreaking.”
Christine Bossi, who said she organized the vigil, told Fox26 she didn’t know the deputy and doesn’t know his family. But she has a brother in law enforcement and felt organizing a tribute was something she could do to help out. Her efforts also raised $23,000 for the deputy’s wife and 2 children.