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Man Charged With Capital Murder In Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Death

Robert Solis, the alleged shooter, was wanted on a warrant for violating parole. The funeral for Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal will be held Wednesday in Cypress.

This photo provided by Harris County Sheriff’s Office shows Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal. The funeral for Dhaliwal, a Texas sheriff’s deputy who was fatally shot during a traffic stop, will be held Wednesday. Dhaliwal, who was slain on Friday, Sept. 27, was the first Sikh deputy on the force.

A Houston man was charged Friday with capital murder in the fatal shooting of a Harris County sheriff’s deputy during a traffic stop near Houston.

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office said 47-year-old Robert Solis was charged in the Friday shooting death of Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal. Solis was denied bond at a hearing early Saturday and was being held without bond in the Harris County Jail.

This booking photo from the Harris County Sheriff’s Office shows Robert Solis. Solis, 47, of Houston has been charged with capital murder shooting death of Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal.

Solis has an extensive criminal history. Authorities haven’t speculated as to his motive or suggested that the shooting was a hate crime.

Solis was wanted for 2017 parole violations for assault and possession of a prohibited weapon. He’s been ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said Dhaliwal, 42, was shot from behind during the traffic stop, which happened in a residential cul-de-sac near Houston. Dhaliwal was a father of three.

Dhaliwal’s dashboard camera captured video showing the deputy speaking with the driver in what appeared to be a conversational tone with “no combat, no arguing,” Sheriff’s Maj. Mike Lee said. The driver’s door was opened at one point, and Dhaliwal shut it as the driver remained in the vehicle.

When Dhaliwal turned to walk back to his patrol car, the driver stepped from the car “almost immediately running with a gun already out,” Lee said. The driver shot the deputy from behind, hitting him in the back of the head. The driver got back in his car and drove away.

A deputy a short time later found and arrested a nervous man matching the description of the driver in a business at a nearby strip shopping center, Lee said. 

Sheriff Gonzalez called Dhaliwal “a trailblazer” who was active in the community.

Gonzalez’s predecessor as sheriff, Adrian Garcia, implemented a religious accommodation policy that allowed Dhaliwal to wear the traditional turban and beard of the Sikh religion.

Gonzalez recounted how Dhaliwal worked with United Sikhs, an international nonprofit, nongovernmental, humanitarian relief, human development and advocacy organization affiliated with the United Nations.

Dhaliwal worked with the nonprofit to organize the donation of supplies for first responders after Hurricane Harvey devastated the county. He also went to Puerto Rico to help with relief after Hurricane Maria devastated the island.

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office said the funeral for Deputy Dhaliwal will be held Wednesday at the Berry Center in Cypress, near Houston.

A sheriff’s statement said a Sikh religious ceremony will begin at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday. A law enforcement ceremony starts at 11:30 a.m. Both are open to the public.

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