Like many people in Houston, the nation and the world, Home Furnishings Association member Sam Zavary of Exclusive Furniture was stunned to hear of the fatal shooting of a Harris County sheriff’s deputy last month.
Zavary met Sandeep Dhaliwal, a 10-year veteran of law enforcement, on many occasions. Dhaliwal was shot multiple times by one of two people in a stopped car during a traffic stop, according to Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez. Dhaliwal was one of the first sheriff’s deputies in the country to wear a traditional Sikh turban on duty.
Zavary decided to show his support for Dhaliwal and his family. Zavary’s seven Exclusive Furniture stores donated 10 percent of their sales over 10 days to the Dhaliwal family. The family received a check from Zavary for $31,850.
“I met Deputy Dhaliwal on several occasions and, like everyone who knew him, I cannot say enough wonderful things about him,” said Zavary. “As a family-owned business, we are committed to giving back to our community, and we want to give back to this family who has lost their husband and father. We join the entire city of Houston in mourning and remembering a man that served with honor.”
Deputy Dhaliwal was known for his interactions within the community, with many people recalling the times they met the deputy or how his service changed their lives.
‘Respected by all’
A husband and a father of three, Dhaliwal started as a detention officer and worked his way up. Dhaliwal was the first adherent of Sikhism, a monotheistic religion that originated in India, to become a deputy.
“He wore the turban. He represented his community with integrity, respect and pride,” Gonzalez told reporters. “And again, he was respected by all.”
Dhaliwal, 41, was returning to his patrol car when a man got out of the stopped car and shot him. “It was a cold-blooded manner, ambush-style,” Gonzalez said. He said he did not know the reason for the stop or the motive for the shooting.
Zavary said he was only giving back to a city that helped him get his start. “I started this business 21 years ago, and people from Houston are the ones that supported me,” said Zavary. “It’s just right to give back.”