Authorities are offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of the gunman who shot a TV meteorologist multiple times during an altercation Wednesday in a Central Texas TV station's parking lot.
The Falls County Crime Stoppers posted the reward, KCEN-TV reported Friday. The station’s meteorologist Patrick Crawford continues to recover in the hospital.
WacoTrib.com said more than 100 tipsters called police after a composite sketch of the suspected gunman was released Thursday.
The Texas Department of Public Safety says the shooting occurred around 9:15 a.m. Wednesday outside KCEN’s rural studio on Interstate 35 near Bruceville-Eddy, 75 miles north of Austin. No motive has been determined and it is unclear if the shooter has any ties to the station.
The suspect is described as a white, balding man in his 30s. He is said to have been wearing a dark-hooded sweatshirt and dark jeans at the time of the shooting.
“It is slow-going now, but we had over 100 tips called into the tip line, so they are narrowing the ones that keep coming back to the same direction—the ones that are most similar—to follow up today,” TDPS spokesman D.L. Wilson told Waco.Trib.com Friday.
The station website reports the suspect exchanged words with Crawford before pulling out a handgun and shooting several times. The meteorologist backed his car away from the shooter and drove up to a highway construction crew that called 911. Jim Hice, the station's news director, says Crawford was wounded in the shoulder and the abdomen.
Crawford was stable and resting after undergoing surgery. It is believed Crawford was hit at least two times, but authorities recovered at least 12 shells at the scene.
Crawford said he did not know the man who shot him.
Police think the suspect fled into the wooded area behind the station.
Wilson said law enforcement was constructing a forensic map of the scene and said it was still not clear if Crawford knew the suspect.
Authorities stopped a man who tried to flee when confronted by police during the search, the paper reported. But the man was ruled out as a suspect and was reportedly running due to outstanding warrants.
Police were taking precaution and schools in the districted were in lockdown during the hunt. Employees at the station were not allowed to leave until the evening.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.