Funeral services have been announced for Sandeep Dhaliwal, the Harris County Sheriff's deputy who was killed during a routine traffic stop Friday, September 27, in northwest Houston.
The public is invited to a law enforcement ceremony and a Sikh religious ceremony on Wednesday, October 2, at the Berry Center (8877 Barker Cypress Rd.) in Cypress, Texas. The Sikh religious ceremony starts at 10:30 am; the law enforcement services follow at 11 am. The public is invited to both, space permitting, according to the HCSO.
A beloved community figure who was the first Sikh in HCSO history, Dhaliwal was gunned down on Friday during a traffic stop and died later of his wounds. The suspect has been identified as Robert Solis, who has been charged with capital murder in connection with Dhaliwal’s death, according to the HCSO.
The 41-year-old Dhaliwal was a father of three children. He was a 10-year veteran of the sheriff’s office and made history when he was allowed to wear his turban and beard, both symbols of the Sikh faith, on duty by then-sheriff Adrian Garcia. He quickly became a local and national sensation, popular for his connection with his local community, his fundraising efforts during Hurricane Harvey, and the awareness he raised about the Sikh faith.
He was also a champion of fellow law enforcement officers. When his colleague, Deputy Darren Goforth, was killed in northwest Harris County, Dhaliwal asked Houstonians to “just wear blue” in tribute. “Wear blue and be proud of that,” he told CultureMap content partner, ABC13. “And that shows support to law enforcement. Simple as that."
In the days since his death, Houstonians have created myriad tributes to the fallen officer. A local Chick-fil-A adorned a memorial table for Dhaliwal; local restaurants set up impromptu bake sales or have donated profits to his family.
Papa John’s has announced that profits from all Houston-area locations will be directed to Dhaliwal’s family on Tuesday, October 1, according to ABC13.
Mayor Sylvester Turner called Dhaliwal a “walking lesson in tolerance and understanding.” On Saturday, September 28, Dhaliwal’s family released an official statement:
Sandeep was a pillar of strength for the Sikh faith, community, and our family. While we are completely heartbroken by the immense loss we feel, we find solace in knowing Sandeep will forever be in the hearts and memory of so many he touched. His Chardi Kala shined brightly before the world, and we are so grateful for the public outpouring of support, prayers, and positive messages we have received during this tragic time.
Numerous funds have been set up for Dhaliwal’s family, including this GoFundMe page authorized by his family by the religious organization United Sikhs.