Fort Bend County has joined much of Greater Houston in mourning the death of Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal, who was shot and killed Friday afternoon during a traffic stop in a Houston suburb.
According to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, 47-year-old Robert Solis has been charged with the capital murder of Dhaliwal.
Fort Bend County Judge KP George announced Monday that the county’s flags will be flown at half-staff until sunset Wednesday, Oct. 2 in honor of Dhaliwal’s service. County officials called Dhaliwal a “trailblazer” who embodied the spirit of service through not only his law enforcement work, but through connecting with youth and serving by example during Hurricane Harvey in 2017.
Dhaliwal was the first observant Sikh to become a sheriff’s deputy in Harris County. Sikhism is a monotheistic religion that originated in the Punjab region of India, the same country where George was born.
“Fort Bend County mourns with the family and friends of Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal, our neighbors at the Harris County Sheriff’s office, and all those throughout our community that were touched by the kindness of Deputy Dhaliwal over a storied and trailblazing career in law enforcement,” George said in a statement. “He was a groundbreaking officer in our region, state, and country because he worked hard to break barriers and received permission to wear the garb of his Sikh faith on patrol paving the way for so many and inspiring countless in the process. Deputy Dhaliwal was a shining example of the values we hold dear in our diverse region.”
The 42-year-old Dhaliwal was a married father of three, according to a report from NPR, and had served with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office for 10 years.
“Deputy Dhaliwal led the way for others to serve their community without sacrificing the beliefs of their religion or culture. His death is truly a loss for our community,” Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls said.