Robert Solis, the man found guilty of killing Harris County Sheriff’s Office first Sikh deputy, was sentenced to death in Texas on Wednesday.
Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal, 42, was fatally shot by Solis, 50, during a routine traffic stop in Houston on Sept. 27, 2019. Dashcam footage of the incident shows the deputy returning to his patrol car before Solis runs after him and shoots him multiple times from behind. “The defendant executed a uniformed deputy by shooting him in cold blood in broad daylight. That makes him the worst of the worst, which is why we asked jurors to sentence him to death,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said in a statement.
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Solis has an extensive criminal record, including robberies and sexual predation. He was also convicted of two felonies in 2002 after shooting a man and using his son “as a shield” when he barricaded himself at home.
In court, Solis reportedly fired his three defense attorneys and represented himself in his trial.
Dhaliwal made history and headlines in 2015 for becoming the first Sikh police officer in Texas permitted to wear a turban while on duty. He also served for 10 years at the Harris County Sheriff’s Office as the agency’s first Sikh deputy.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Assistant District Attorney Katie Warren said Dhaliwal was an exceptional officer and a trailblazer in the law enforcement community.
“Deputy Dhaliwal was a pillar of this community, and when it came to law enforcement, he set the bar,” Warren reportedly said. “His loss is a loss that every single one of us feels. We’re glad today that this jury was able to give justice.”
“We are extremely grateful that justice has been served,” Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzales tweeted. “Sandeep changed our Sheriff’s Office family for the better, and we continue striving to live up to his example of servant leadership. May he Rest In Peace.”