Suspect in Rhome police officer shooting, girlfriend arrested in Arkansas

After a 10-day manhunt, law enforcement finally tracked down the man who they said shot a police officer in Wise County.

Royce Wood and his girlfriend, Tiffany Caswell, were tracked down and captured at an Arkansas motel. 

Authorities in the small town of Mountain View, about 100 miles north of Little Rock, made the arrest, acting on a tip from federal law enforcement.

"I’m not sure of the specifics of how he ended up in our little small town," said Chief Deputy Dammon McGilton with the Stone County Sheriff’s Department. "It’s believed that they were only here just a few hours."

McGilton says he got a call from the U.S. Marshals around 4 a.m. Thursday.

"He informed me that the US Marshals out of Texas was working a case," he said. "

A couple hours later, Deputy McGilton joined the Marshals, the Mountain View Police Department and regional drug task force officers at the Dogwood Motel. Together, they created a perimeter around the building and approached Wood and Caswell’s room.

"It wasn’t like what you see on TV, all these explosions and stuff. It was just very coordinated," McGilton said. "They used safety equipment and they approached the door and announced their self. He came to the door and he surrendered and he was taken into custody without incident."

Investigators say Wood shot a police officer in Rhome, northwest of Fort Worth, during a traffic stop. The officer was hit in the leg and is recovering. 

Wood and Caswell are suspects in a home invasion the day before that shooting. 

Investigators say Caswell was not involved in the shooting because she was in jail at the time on an outstanding warrant.

U.S. Marshals and Texas Rangers worked with Wise County authorities to track down the pair. Early on, Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin noted he was optimistic about finding them. 

"We received throughout the day probably about 100 or so tips on where he may be, as well as people saying they’ve seen this person," he said.

The search began on June 12, after Wood and Caswell were named as suspects in a home invasion robbery that authorities said involved methamphetamine. The two reportedly assaulted victims at the home and stole items.

It became a statewide manhunt after the shooting the next day.

Wood was on a motorcycle with another woman when he was pulled over for a traffic stop. The sheriff said Wood injured the Rhome PD officer in an exchange of gunfire captured by a home surveillance camera.

The officer is recovering from a gunshot wound to the leg.

Sheriff Akin, during the ongoing search, eluded that Wood would most likely be getting far from Wise County.

"My best guess would be he was able to get far, far away and probably return to some level of his roots, and that’s where we’ll find him," he said.

But reflecting on how things turned out, McGilton credits the partnership between local, state and federal agencies.

"It’s just every day work. You get up every day and go to work. That’s your job," he said. "You just take care of business and go home at the end of the day."


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