01:16 - Source: KPRC
Captain America illustrator's gift to slain cop's son

Story highlights

Slain deputy Darren Goforth had bought Captain America shirts for himself and his 5-year-old son, Ryan

Goforth was buried in his shirt; Ryan wore his to his father's funeral

Facebook campaign encouraged people to wear Captain America shirts to honor them

CNN —  

A simple T-shirt featuring the superhero Captain America has become a symbol of remembrance worn by many people across the United States to honor slain Texas deputy Darren Goforth.

Goforth, a member of the Harris County Sheriff’s Department, was shot repeatedly as he fueled his patrol car at a Houston-area gas station in late August. It was revealed at his funeral that he had recently purchased matching Captain America T-shirts for himself and his 5-year-old son, but the shirts were still unworn when the officer died.

Goforth’s son, Ryan, wore his Captain America shirt underneath his suit jacket to attend his father’s funeral. The officer himself was buried in his T-shirt, underneath his uniform.

That story spawned a Facebook effort to encourage people to wear Captain America T-shirts in honor of Goforth and his son, with last Friday set as “Goforth’s Captain America Day.” More than 7,000 participants from California to New York wore Captain America T-shirts, with the strongest support coming from Texas, the home state of Goforth’s family. The effort also remembered those who died in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Harris County Constable Precinct Five tweeted:

“Today, we remember both the attack on America & our fallen brother.”

Oak Forest Elementary in the Houston Independent School District posted pictures of grade-school children sporting their Captain America T-shirts.

Principal April Williams said the death of Goforth hit close to home. Goforth’s wife, Kathleen, is a teacher at a middle school in the same school district.

“It was such a senseless act,” said Williams. “Goforth has small children and a wife in the community. Any type of small support we can give them, we will.” She said if there is anything positive to find in this tragedy, it is to “teach a valuable lesson that life is very short and unexpected. So grasp those you love and keep them close.”

Goforth is survived by his wife and a daughter as well as his son.

A Texas man is facing capital murder charges in the slaying of Goforth, who prosecutors said was shot 15 times.