Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal had been a member of the Harris County Police Department for the last 10 years.
And in 2015, as USA Today reports, he made history when he was approved to wear a turban and a beard to honor his Sikh faith while he protected the people of his Texas community.
Sadly on September 27, Dhaliwal was shot twice by a man named Robert Solis. According to USA Today, Dhaliwal was returning back to his patrol car when the man opened fire, hitting the deputy twice in the back of the head.
The suspect was wanted for parole violations and has since been charged with capital murder. He is currently being held without bail.
Now, friends, family, and members of his community are remembering Dhaliwal for the “gem of a person” he was. One family went viral when they asked the Harris County Sheriff’s Office to share a video of their son interacting with Dhaliwal as he was having breakfast.
The video shows Dhaliwal interacting with the child and allowing the young boy to handcuff him. The deputy is seen wearing a big smile on his face the whole time.
The mom told the Sheriff’s office:
“He laughed and joked with all of us, and left a bright impression on my son who is deaf. We send our condolences to his family and the law enforcement community.”
According to USA Today, Dhaliwal was a father of three himself and “had a soft spot for children.” And the support doesn’t stop there. Other families have also reached out and shared their experiences with Dhaliwal:
And as Sheriff Ed Gonzalez wrote on Twitter, a makeshift memorial to celebrate the deputy’s life and service have been growing in their community.
Sheriff Gonzalez later told the Houston Chronicle:
“He was a hero, a traillazer. There are no words to speak to how heartbroken we are, how devastated.”