New Delhi, September 28: An India-American Sikh police officer died in the US state of Texas after he was shot multiple times while conducting a traffic stop on Friday. India reacted to the killing of Sandeep Dhaliwal, who was the first turbaned Sikh cop to serve Texas, with External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar condoling the death. The person who killed Dhaliwal was identified as 47-year-old Robert Solis. America's First Sikh Police Officer Sandeep Dhaliwal Brutally Shot in Texas, Twitterati Pay Heartfelt Tribute to Sikh Deputy Sheriff.
"Deeply grieved to learn of the shooting of Deputy Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal, a Sikh Indian-American officer in Houston. We have just visited that city. My condolences to his family," Jaishankar tweeted on Saturday. According to Harris County Sheriff's Office Major Mike Lee, Dhaliwal was shot multiple times after he stopped a vehicle in the 14800 block of Willancy Court in the Cypress area.
Dr S Jaishankar's Tweet:
Deeply grieved to learn of the shooting of Deputy Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal, a Sikh Indian-American officer in Houston. We have just visited that city. My condolences to his family. https://t.co/BBUJOFcjB8
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) September 28, 2019
Lee revealed that dashcam video showed Dhaliwal and Solis having a conversation with no sign of confrontation. A few seconds after Dhaliwal returned to his squad car, the suspect ran up and shot him in the head multiple times, Lee said. Dhaliwal was airlifted to the hospital, where he died. The suspect, who has a criminal record that includes convictions for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated kidnapping and drunk driving, was detained.
Solis has been charged with murder. Dhaliwal was the first Sikh man to join law enforcement in the US 10 years ago. He shot to fame when the department allowed him to wear a turban and grow a beard while on patrol. "He was a hero, a trailblazer," Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said of Dhaliwal, who he considered a close friend. "There are no words to speak to how heartbroken we are, how devastated."
Sheriff Ed Gonzalez's Tweet:
This video captures the essence of who Deputy Dhaliwal was. He touched countless of lives along the way. A legacy that will never be forgotten. We will aspire to be as good as he was. #HouNews #lesm https://t.co/c3i2eBBLMv
— Ed Gonzalez (@SheriffEd_HCSO) September 28, 2019
Dhaliwal started his career in law enforcement out of a desire to serve after then-Sheriff Adrian Garcia reached out to strengthen the department's relationship with the Sikh community after deputies botched a domestic violence call at a Sikh family's home.