It was a sad day in Houston, as the family, friends and colleagues of Harris County Sheriff's Deputy Darren Goforth attended his funeral Friday. In an apparent attempt to ease their grief, a couple who were at the gas station where Goforth was killed came forward Friday to tell the family that after he was attacked, they had sat with the deputy to wait for help.
One of the most striking images of the day was of Gofoth's son, Ryan, 5, wearing a Captain America T-shirt under his suit jacket, holding hands with his mother, Kathleen, and an officer as they headed into the church. It was taken by Cody Duty, of The Houston Chronicle.
Coming one week after Goforth was shot to death as he put gas in his patrol car, the funeral service brought a sequence of powerful moments, as the deputy's friends and fellow law enforcement officers took turns speaking inside the immense (and packed) Second Baptist Church.
That's when Goforth's longtime friend, police Lt. Roland De Los Santos, told those in attendance that Ryan Goforth and his father had recently gotten matching Captain America T-shirts — and that while Ryan has his on today, "underneath his uniform, so does Darren."
The audience broke into applause at the story, as video of the moment that was highlighted by Sally MacDonald of local news Fox 26 shows.
In a surprising development that was revealed later in the day, a handwritten note to the fallen deputy's loved ones surfaced that is reportedly from two people who were at the gas station when Goforth was attacked. The Houston couple's identities haven't been made public, according to ABC 13, which reports that they came forward at the deputy's funeral Friday.
"We are so sorry for your loss," the note to the family begins. "We were at the gas station the night Deputy Goforth was killed."
The couple then went on to say that they had been at the back of the gas station's convenience store when the shooting occurred. Days after the shooting, police arrested Shannon J. Miles, who now faces capital murder charges.
Here's the rest of the letter to Goforth's family, as published by ABC 13, which agreed to keep the couple's names private:
"(Name redacted at request) sat with Deputy Goforth until help arrived, and we wish there was more we could have done. Please, know that your husband, father, son, and friend was not alone. We will honor him and encourage people in our community to honor and support all law enforcement and first responders. Deputy Goforth's service is greatly appreciated. We mourn his loss, and you and your family are in our prayers as you heal from this tragedy."