Army investigators are offering $25,000 for information leading to the arrest or conviction of anyone involved in the murder of an Army cadet on a Texas highway.
Cadet Joseph Banales, 22, was shot last month while driving on a northbound highway in Selma, Texas. He was a senior Reserve Officer Training Corps cadet at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas, according to the Army Criminal Investigation Division.
Banales was set to commission as a second lieutenant in December this year. His family said that he was driving home from a military ball and that they suspect he was the victim of a road rage incident, according to KENS5 News.
“On April 15, 2023, at approximately 11:30 p.m., Banales was shot to death while driving his vehicle on IH-35 North near The Forum at Olympia Parkway, Selma, Texas,” Army CID said in a press release last week. “[The Selma Police Department] identified a vehicle of interest seen driving erratically near the crime scene. The vehicle, believed to be a Nissan 350Z or 370Z, is a dark-in-color, possibly blue, sports car, with loud aftermarket exhaust and possibly a spoiler.”
No suspects have been identified yet, though multiple media reports quote police as saying the perpetrator shot Banales through the driver’s side window.
An online obituary apparently for Banales said that he was following his lifelong dream of becoming a nurse in the Army.
“He was an accomplished saxophonist in the St. Anthony High School Jazz band and competed in numerous drill team and rifle team competitions while in high school,” the obituary said, also listing his accolades as an ROTC cadet. “Joseph was proud to serve his country and was looking forward to helping so many as a nurse — that is who he was, someone who was always giving to everyone and in every community in which he lived.”
A local San Antonio Crime Stoppers organization is also offering $5,000 for information about the case.
The Army CID said that members of the public with information regarding the incident should contact them at 210-221-1050 or San Antonio Crime Stoppers at 210-224-7867.
They can also report information anonymously at the CID’s online tip line.
— Drew F. Lawrence can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @df_lawrence.