INDIANAPOLIS — A month after a pregnant bank teller shot in a holdup lost the twins she was carrying, authorities are hoping a $10,000 reward can lead them to the gunman.

Police Chief Michael Spears said at a news conference Friday to announce the reward that he’s determined to put the gunman and his accomplices behind bars for the April 22 shooting of 30-year-old Katherin Shuffield.

The teller, who was five months’ pregnant, was critically injured when a masked gunman shot her in the abdomen while robbing a Huntington National Bank branch on the city’s east side. Shuffield, whose twin girls died two days later, was discharged from a hospital May 6.

Huntington National Bank is offering the reward. Michael Newbold, the bank’s regional president, said he hoped it leads to arrests to “restore peace of mind” to the city.

Since the shooting, more than 400 officers have taken part in the search for the robbers, making 45 unrelated arrests, Deputy Chief William Benjamin said.

He said the reward and a special tip line that will operate around-the-clock through Wednesday should help detectives advance information they’ve developed in the case.

“We will not quit. The answers are out there. With this reward we will get this done,” Benjamin said.

After announcing the reward and tip line, Benjamin said a man who gave officers false information in the shooting pleaded guilty this week to a misdemeanor count of false informing.

Shed James Jr., 25, who entered his plea Wednesday, was sentenced to 180 days in jail and ordered to pay $16,347 in restitution to the department, police said.

Benjamin said James “played with us for four days” sending officers on a large and futile manhunt based on his lies that he knew the identity of the gunman.

Rob Challis, the lead detective in the case, said those lies cost investigators time early in the investigation when they could have been pursuing actual leads in the case.

“The first 72 hours are so crucial to us and we spent the first 72 hours being misled by this individual, so yes it hindered us a lot,” Challis said.

Based on information from eyewitnesses and work by detectives, Benjamin said he believed four men were involved in the robbery, although only one entered the bank.

During a May 3 news conference while she was still hospitalized, Shuffield and her husband strongly criticized security at the bank branch, saying it was insufficient to protect the staff from the threat of violence during a robbery.

“You never get the security you deserve,” Shuffield told reporters, adding that in the 13 months she had worked at the branch it had been robbed three times.

When asked about those comments Friday, Newbold said he cannot “can’t imagine the emotional state” Shuffield is in after the shooting that ended her pregnancy.

He said the Columbus, Ohio-based bank spends hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to train employees in security matters such as armed robberies.

“This is a risk that we bear in this business,” he said.


A tip line for leads on the Huntington National Bank shooting, (317) 327-3733, will operate through Wednesday. During that period, callers will be able to speak directly with an officer.

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