cold case

North Richland Hills Police Solve 19-Year-Old Cold Case With DNA Testing Technology

Authorities say they used DNA to identify the suspect in the 2003 shooting of a police officer, the suspect was found dead in Oklahoma as they prepared to arrest him

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A cold case involving a man suspected of a string of bank robberies and the 2003 shooting of a North Richland Hills police officer is now closed thanks to new DNA technology.


North Richland Hills police captain Jeff Garner was an officer on patrol 19 years ago when he was shot by a bank robbery suspect during a traffic stop.

In March 2003, then-North Richland Hills police Officer Jeff Garner was shot in the ankle as he tried to pull over a man for a traffic violation.

"While it's inconsequential to any prosecution that won't take place now, 19 years, one month, and nine days later I identified Mark Long in a photo lineup,” Garner said. “I never forgot his face."


The suspect got away and the case went cold until detective Erik Whitlock took the case. He used new resources through DNA testing and genealogy examinations that identified the suspect from Oklahoma.

"On December 14, 2021, we were notified that this individual Mark Alan Long was believed to be the suspect associated with the DNA profiles found at three of the bank robberies at Oklahoma City and Arlington," North Richland Hills Police detective Erik Whitlock said.

A bullet hole in Mark Alan Long's tailgate comes from Garner shooting back in 2003.

Along with DNA, the investigation found Long's truck had tailgate damage from Garner firing back.

They also found the gun that matched ballistic testing.

Mark Alan Long kept the gun used in the bank robberies and used to shoot Garner in 2003.

"That weapon being found in context to him leaving it out in the interview as a weapon he owned got a lot of us excited,” Whitlock said. “That 19 years later he did actually keep the weapon he used in multiple bank robberies and to shoot officer Garner."


Mark Alan Long, 60.

Mark Alan Long, 60, was found dead Sunday near a cell tower in southeast Oklahoma City, authorities said Wednesday. Authorities say that while they believe he killed himself, a medical examiner will determine his cause of death.

"He took with him you know things that only he will know,” Whitlock said. “The whys, essentially, why did he do all this?"

But for Garner, the case is closed and for that he's thankful.

"I have come to understand I've been carrying the weight of this for 19 years and I'm eternally grateful for the opportunity to finally set it aside," Garner said.

This was a multi-agency investigation that included the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations, and the Federal Bureau of Investigations Dallas and Oklahoma City field offices.

Mark Alan Long has been linked to multiple bank robberies.

Through the investigation, Long is believed to be linked to seven bank robberies from 1998 to 2003.

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