Mark Alan Long was identified on April 15, 2022, as the lead suspect in the March 3, 2003 attempted murder of Officer Jeff Garner in North Richland Hills, Texas. Officer Garner, then 29, attempted to pull over a man driving a red Jeep Wrangler for a traffic violation when he was shot in the leg by the driver of the vehicle, who had just robbed a bank in Watauga. Garner recovered, and is currently a Captain with the North Richland Hills PD. The suspect in this case, known as the ‘Cowboy Bandit’ was believed to be linked to 7 other bank robberies that took place in Texas, Kansas, and Oklahoma, from 1998 to 2003.
DNA evidence was available from 3 of the bank robberies. One came from a bloody brown glove left at the scene of a 1999 robbery, one came from a shirt, and the third from a surgical mask and pair of pantyhose used at a 1998 robbery.
A DNA profile was developed in 2018. Parabon Nanolabs performed forensic phenotyping at that time, and produced a composite likeness of the suspect, but an FGG investigation was not conducted at that time. The FGG investigation was conducted by Identifinders International, beginning in 2019. The initial confirmation to Long was made after police surveillance and surreptitious sampling of items used by Long at a restaurant.
Police then obtained a search warrant and obtained a revolver from Long’s home that was similar to that which fired the bullet at Garner. Police also tracked down the red Jeep Wrangler and found that it had a repair in the tailgate, where Officer Garner shot at the vehicle, that could have been from a bullet hole. Police were preparing to charge Long with attempted capital murder of a police officer and aggravated robbery when Long committed suicide by jumping off a cell tower in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Allen, Jackie. “‘Cowboy Hat Bandit’ Cold Case Suspect Commits Suicide.” USA Herald, April 16, 2022. Accessed April 18, 2022. https://usaherald.com/cowboy-hat-bandit-cold-case-suspect-commits-suicide/.
Harkay, Jessica. “‘I’m Ready to Begin My Healing,’ North Texas Officer Says After 19-Year Cold Case Solved.” Yahoo News, April 15, 2022. Accessed April 18, 2022. https://news.yahoo.com/m-ready-begin-healing-north-192154407.html.
Hartley, James. “Police Identify Gunman in 2003 Shooting of a North Texas Cop, but He Won’t Go to Court.” Fort Worth Star Telegram, April 15, 2022. Accessed April 18, 2022. https://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/crime/article260399282.html.
Identifinders International. “Identifinders Identifies Suspect in 19-Year Old Cowboy Hat Bandit Cold Case.” Identifinders International, 2022. Accessed April 18, 2022. https://identifinders.com/identifinders-identifies-suspect-in-19-year-old-cowboy-hat-bandit-cold-case/