A 42-year-old Indian-American Sikh police officer in Texas died on Friday after being shot multiple times while conducting a routine traffic stop.
Sandeep Dhaliwal, a 10-year veteran of the Texas police department, was attacked when he stopped a vehicle with a man and woman inside. One of them got out and shot him "ambush-style" at least twice in a "ruthless, cold-blooded way", Sheriff Ed Gonzalez told reporters.
Dhaliwal, the deputy sheriff of Harris County, was the first turbaned Sikh cop to serve Texas.
The department is "heartbroken to lose a hero, a leader in this violent tragic manner," Gonzalez said. "There are just no words to convey our pain, our heartbreak, our anger as well... we are human beings. But we are going to channel that to continue to serve the way Deputy Dhaliwal did... with integrity."
Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar also tweeted his condolences, saying “Deeply grieved to learn of the shooting of Deputy Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal, a Sikh Indian-American officer in Houston. We have just visited that city. My condolences to his family."
A 47-year-old suspect, Robert Solis, has been taken into custody and "charged with the capital murder", the police has said, adding that it is not yet clear if it was a hate crime.
Tributes also poured in on social media soon after his death as his colleagues remembered his 10 years of service and others like Senator John Cornyn and the Mayor of Houston condoled his demise.