As investigators pour over surveillance video and other leads they’ve gathered, the total reward has been increased to $50,000 for information leading to an arrest in the fatal shooting of an armored-car guard in the parking lot of the Chase bank on South Carrollton Avenue.
Wednesday morning’s fatal shooting and robbery of 45-year-old Loomis guard Hector Trochez was captured on surveillance video, but investigators do not believe it would be prudent to release those images yet, said FBI Special Agent Michael Anderson in a news conference Friday afternoon. The only description investigators are sharing with the public is of three black men in their 20s or early 30s wearing dark hooded sweatshirts and mask, ranging in height between 5-foot-5 and 5-foot-10, Anderson said.
“This happened very quickly. Mr. Trochez did not even have any kind of opportunity to turn over the money before these suspects went to guns,” Anderson said. “It was very brazen. It was an ambush.”
The FBI is now offering a $20,000 reward for information, which combined with the $25,000 being offered by Loomis and and the $5,000 offered by CrimeStoppers brings the total to $50,000. People with information should call CrimeStoppers directly at 822-1111 to leave an anonymous tip that could be eligible for the money, officials said.
Despite the limited amount of information about the incident being shared with the public, NOPD Chief Ronal Serpas said investigators are making progress.
“We feel very comfortable and confident that our continuing and expanding investigation with the FBI, the ATF and others will help us get to where we need to be to bring these three people to justice,” Serpas said. “The three people who did this should not underestimate how much we know, and how much we know about them. This is the time when you may want to consider turning yourself in.”
Violent attacks on armored-car guards are very rare, said Brad Hambleton of Loomis — they occur less than once a year among its fleet of more than 3,000 vehicles. The law enforcement officers again stressed their condolences for Trochez’s family and loved ones.
“I can’t imagine a more tragic event to befall a family a week before Christmas,” Serpas said. “For all the families in those neighborhoods and in and around these three young men, just think about that as you maybe consider calling CrimeStoppers anonymously.”
Later Friday evening, friends, family and supporters of Trochez gathered back at the bank, between two Loomis armored cars parked very near where the robbery took place. They prayed for him, and for strength through the difficulty of his loss, and recalled his love for his wife and family, his protective spirit, and the Doritos and Powerade he always enjoyed
The vigil drew a number of uniformed Loomis employees, but also a large contingent of guards from other armored car firms, such as Garda, Dunbar and Brinks. The industry is tight-knit, with relationships that extend beyond corporate lines, one employee explained.
“We all come into contact with each other on a daily basis,” said Justin Rivers, a former co-worker of Trochez’s. “Hector was known by all the companies, and he was loved by all the companies.”