LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Police say the tips started rolling in minutes after we featured a February shooting at Toucan's Bar and Grill on 7 News.
"Our detective contacted me at 10:15 that night and said his cell phone is going off the hook because he has received so many calls about who this suspect may be," said Lake Charles Police Sgt. Mark Kraus.
In the end it was descriptive tatoos we reported to you, one of a little boy and the other of an elderly woman -- one on each of his arms -- that led them to 35-year-old Terrance Joseph Malvo. But detectives say Malvo knew police were on to him.
"The lead detective in this case, Richard Harrell, got there [and] got him out of the van to talk to him. The first thing he was looking for were those tattoos on his inner forearms to identify him, and there were no tattoos there. And he told me I think we have a problem because I think we might have the wrong man. And through the next few minutes Detective Harrell learned Malvo was actually wearing a heavy grade makeup and covering his tatoos because he knew the public knew that's the guy we were looking for," said Sgt. Kraus.
Kraus urges more people to get involved and send a message to criminals. "They're not tolerating crime and letting the criminal element take advantage of their neighbors and their family members. And they're going to make those phone calls that count to push our office and the office we work for and represent this community in the right direction and start maybe closing some of these cases out," said Kraus.