Northeast Tarrant

Reward offered in North Richland Hills cold case

NRH Searching For Police Shooting Suspect From 2003

A man in a cowboy hat robbed a Bank One in Watauga on March 3, 2003, and then fled. When he was chased by a North Richland Hills officer, he fired at the officer hitting him in the leg. NRH police are renewing the search and offering a $13,000 rew
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A man in a cowboy hat robbed a Bank One in Watauga on March 3, 2003, and then fled. When he was chased by a North Richland Hills officer, he fired at the officer hitting him in the leg. NRH police are renewing the search and offering a $13,000 rew

A $13,000 reward has been offered for leads in a 2003 cold case in which a motorcycle police officer was shot during a gunbattle with a bank robber.

The North Richland Hills Police Department has also created a Web page dedicated to tracking down the suspect, who authorities believe was involved in at least six bank robberies across Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas between 1998 and 2003.

The Web page includes newspaper articles about the case, the original police radio traffic of the stop, suspect and vehicle descriptions, and other information on the reward and case.

The reward is offered for any information that leads to the arrest and indictment of the suspect involved in the shooting of the officer.

“The police are reaching out to the community in the hopes that someone has the information that will allow this case to be closed and bring the suspect to justice,” Investigator Keith Bauman said in a news release.

Anyone with information should call North Richland Hills police at 817-427-7000 or 817-427-7017.

The shooting incident began at 1:18 p.m. on March 3, 2003, when a heavyset man with acnelike scarring on his face, wearing a fake mustache and an eye patch over his left eye, robbed Bank One, at 6624 Watauga Road, in Watauga.

The robber fled, driving away in a red Jeep.

Minutes later, North Richland Hills police officer Jeff Garner stopped the red Jeep in the 7100 block of Bursey Road. Garner believed the vehicle was stopping and began to dismount his motorcycle, but the Jeep accelerated and drove toward him. The motorist also brandished a handgun and opened fire.

Garner jumped from his motorcycle, pulled his revolver and returned fire, police said. Garner suffered a gunshot wound to the leg. He continues to work for the department.

Police said despite an extensive investigation through the years no one has been arrested.

The North Richland Hills investigation revealed that a man with a similar description and method of operation had robbed other banks from 1998 until 2003 in Oklahoma City, Wichita, Kan., Arlington, Fort Worth and Tulsa.

Domingo Ramirez Jr.: 817-390-7763, @mingoramirezjr

Possibly related bank holdups

▪  10/24/1998: Oklahoma City

▪  4/24/1999: Oklahoma City

▪  9/03/1999: Wichita, Kan.

▪  10/13/2001: Fort Worth

▪  7/23/2002: Arlington

▪  2/21/2003: Tulsa

Source: North Richland Hills police

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