Friday, Sept. 11, 1998 | 1:44 a.m.
A man suspected of shooting and wounding a Metro Police officer and another man last year in a southeast Las Vegas neighborhood may be back in town.
Nacho Hinojosa-Garcia, considered by authorities to be armed and dangerous, has been wanted since Jan. 30, 1997, when a warrant was issued charging him with one count of using a deadly weapon on a police officer and one county of attempted murder with a deadly weapon.
Reports have been filtering into Metro's homicide section that Hinojosa-Garcia recently has been spotted in the area off Reno Avenue and Tamarus Street, near Tropicana Avenue and Maryland Parkway, where Officer Luis Norris, then a one-year veteran, was shot in his foot and saved by his bulletproof vest from a chest wound during a foot chase Jan. 28, 1997.
Kent Spears was also shot earlier the same night during an argument with several residents in the neighborhood. Metro Police suspect Hinojosa-Garcia in that shooting as well.
Earlier this month, a local attorney representing two anonymous donors contacted Secret Witness and pledged $10,000 as a reward for the arrest and conviction of Hinojosa-Garcia. The Secret Witness program is also offering an additional $1,000.
Hinojosa-Garcia, also known as Jorge Garcia-Hinojosa, is described as 5 feet 6, 140 pounds, with long dark hair.
Norris was responding to a domestic dispute reported to be in the 1400 block of East Reno about 7 p.m. that night when he heard gunshots coming from a nearby van and saw a wounded man leap out of the vehicle's passenger side. The gunman fired numerous rounds at the officer, who fired back and chased the suspect but couldn't catch him.
Police had been told after the incident that Hinojosa-Garcia had fled to Mexico. More than a year silently passed before homicide investigators got word that the fugitive had supposedly returned to town.
"We've had some reports that he's been back in that neighborhood again ... within the last six months," Sgt. Kevin Manning said this morning. Manning cautioned, however, that those reports are unconfirmed.
Homicide investigators, however, are eager to speak to anyone who may have seen Hinojosa-Garcia or know of his current whereabouts. Tips can be placed directly with the homicide section at 229-3521 or Secret Witness at 385-5555.