A deputy with Harris County Precinct 5 in Texas was “brutally murdered” during a traffic stop early Sunday, Jan. 23, officials say.
Cpl. Charles Galloway, a 12-year veteran with the department, was identified as the victim in the shooting, which took place in southwest Houston.
Galloway pulled over a man during a traffic stop around 12:45 a.m., and the suspect “got out of his vehicle and immediately fired upon the deputy multiple times, striking him, and then drove off,” according to Houston Police Chief Troy Finner. The suspect fled in a white “newer model” Toyota Avalon, the chief said.
The suspect has not been caught as of Sunday morning. An “assault-type weapon” was used in the shooting, officials said.
Harris County Precinct 5 Constable Ted Heap said no traffic stop is routine, but Galloway did not have an opportunity to defend himself in the shooting.
“This is senseless, it makes no sense whatsoever,” Finner said.
The 47-year-old Galloway prided himself on mentoring young officers in the department, Heap said. He recently switched shifts to night shift to become a field training officer.
“He was very much loved by the men and women he served with,” Heap said. “There are a lot of broken up officers, who he meant a lot to in their lives. He was the one that was sitting in the front seat with them. He was the one teaching them what to do and how to get home safely to their families. And here we are this evening with the roles reversed.”
Dozens of law enforcement vehicles were shown lining up outside a Houston hospital to escort Galloway’s body.
Social media was flooded Sunday with condolences, including by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. The mayor said the Houston Police Department is investigating the case.
“The City of Houston extends our condolences and prayers to the family of Cpl. Charles Galloway and the men and women of the office of Harris County Constable of Precinct 5,” Turner said in a statement to KPRC. “Cpl. Galloway served with honor and distinction, and his life was taken as he served to keep the rest of us safe. Thank you for your service.”
Heartbroken at the senseless murder of Harris County Pct 5 Corporal Galloway while he was on duty. I ask that Harris County residents join me in expressing condolences to his family, @ConstableHeap, and all law enforcement officers. We will not rest until we find the suspect.
— Lina Hidalgo (@LinaHidalgoTX) January 23, 2022
The Spring ISD Police Department would like to extend our condolences to Harris County Constables Pct. 5 and the Galloway Family. Cpl. Charles Galloway was killed this morning while conducting a traffic stop. The Galloway Family is in our thoughts and prayers. pic.twitter.com/1HCMW1Tvy9
— Spring ISD Police (@Spring_ISD_PD) January 23, 2022