Man killed during armored truck robbery sting was suspect in car dealer's 2015 death

HOUSTON – The man who was shot and killed last week by police during a sting aimed at arresting people connected with a string of armored truck robberies was a suspect in last year’s slaying of a well-known car dealer, KPRC 2’s

Joseph John “Joe” Stewart, 55, who owned Stewart Cadillac, was shot and killed the morning of May 7, 2015, during a robbery outside his Montrose home.

A $25,000 reward was offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Stewart’s killer.

On Dec. 8, Redrick Batiste was killed by police who were trying to arrest him in connection with a rash of armored-truck robberies. Police said Batiste led the crew of five that was responsible for the deaths of two armored truck drivers this year.

According to a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, during a Tuesday detention hearing an FBI agent testified that Batiste had not only been under investigation for the armored-truck robberies, but also Stewart’s death.

"To hear that there's a possible lead out there where it's been kind of a quiet for us during that two-and-a half year duration, is very encouraging,” said Stewart’s friend, Bob Donoghue.  He told KPRC 2, "Joe was probably the most generous man I ever came across.. had the pleasure of ever dealing with.  And on top of that, he was an even better friend."

Stewart was repeatedly shot as he walked from his SUV into his garage 19 months ago by a shooter wearing a hooded sweatshirt and mask. 

Houston Police confirm Batiste was developed as a person of interest in the murder investigation.  Police said the case is considered an ongoing investigation. Donoghue said, "It almost gives you a sense of hope that we will be able to get justice for Joe."

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About the Authors:

Aaron Barker has been a senior digital editor at KPRC 2 since 2016. As a meteorologist, he specializes in stories about the weather. He has covered Hurricane Harvey, the Astros first World Series win, the Santa Fe High School shooting, the ITC fire and Tropical Storm Imelda.