Corporal Charles Galloway of the Harris County Constables in Texas was shot and killed in the line of duty early Sunday morning, officials said. 

According to media reports, Galloway had pulled over a driver for a routine traffic stop on Houston’s southwest side just after midnight when the suspect exited his vehicle and fired several shots into the deputy’s squad car. 

The suspect fled the scene, and his identity is not known, authorities added. Houston police are continuing to investigate.

Corporal Galloway leaves behind a daughter and a sister, his superior officer said. He was 47 years old.  

Police Reveal What Happened

According to reports, Galloway was patrolling Beechnut Street in southwest Houston at around 12:45 a.m. on Sunday when he signaled for a white Toyota Avalon to pull over on the 9100 block. 

Investigators believe that the driver stopped, before immediately stepping out of his car and firing a volley of shots at Galloway, who was still seated in his squad car. 

What happened to Corporal Charles Galloway. The law enforcement officer was shot dead at a traffic stop in Houston early Sunday morning. He was 47.
What happened to Corporal Charles Galloway? The law enforcement officer was shot dead at a traffic stop in Houston early Sunday morning. He was 47. Photo credit: Harris County Constables

Harris County officials said the deputy did not appear to have a chance to respond to the attack before he was struck. 

“Corporal Galloway did not have an opportunity to defend himself in this brutal attack,” said Constable Ted Heap, Galloway’s superior in the fifth precinct. He died at the scene. 

After the shooting, police said the suspect got back in his car and fled the area. He is described as a “young Hispanic male” in a newer model sedan. His name, if known to authorities, has not been released.

“A message to the suspect: the best thing you can do is turn yourself in peacefully,” said Houston Chief of Police Troy Finner, whose department is leading the investigation in collaboration with the Constables and the District Attorney. 

Colleagues Mourn Corporal Charles Galloway 

On Sunday, Houston area law enforcement paid its respects to the 47-year-old constable’s deputy who lost his life only hours earlier. 

“Corporal Galloway was very much loved by the men and women he served with,” Constable Heap said. “There’s a lot of broken up officers who he meant a lot to in their lives.”

“He was the one teaching them what to do and how to get home safely to their families and here we are this evening with the roles reversed,” Heap added

“It’s senseless. It makes no sense whatsoever,” Chief Finner told reporters

HPD Chief Troy Finner said what happened to Corporal Charles Galloway was 'senseless.' The constable's deputy was shot dead in a traffic stop Sunday morning.
HPD Chief Troy Finner said what happened to Corporal Charles Galloway was ‘senseless.’ The constable’s deputy was shot dead in a traffic stop Sunday morning. Photo credit: HPD

According to KHOU, Galloway was a 12-year veteran of law enforcement and had worked in the fifth precinct since 2009. He had only recently switched to working night patrols so that he could mentor younger deputies as a field training officer, authorities said. 

“I am just heartbroken,” Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo told Click2Houston. ““All I see is people who are dedicated to community service, dedicated to sacrifice. People have to wonder even more what happens when these officers go out on the street and leave their families behind.”

Meanwhile, officials claimed that Galloway’s shooting spoke to a broader rise in violent crime. 

“We have got to put an end to this,” Heap said. “I don’t want to raise my family, my grandchildren, in a county where this type of crime is running rampant.”

Corporal Charles Galloway, 47, of the Harris County Constables was shot dead at a traffic stop early Sunday morning in Houston. The suspect is still at large.
Corporal Charles Galloway, 47, of the Harris County Constables was shot dead at a traffic stop early Sunday morning in Houston. The suspect is still at large. Galloway is at left, his superior Constable Ted Heap is pictured right. Photo credit: Harris County Constables

The constable continued: “What we are seeing on a regular basis on the streets of Harris County has got to stop. These are not assaults, these are not attacks, these are brutal, brutal murders.” 

“This needs to stop.”