BLACK HIGH ROLLER WANTED FOR MURDER:
Cyril Byrd (above) is on the run after a New Year's Eve party that got way out of hand. Some people have been known to fire guns into the air to celebrate the big night. But sometimes it's a good idea to duck for cover. Police say in 1998, Byrd was the guy shooting the bullets and one victim didn't duck quick enough.
For many people, New Year's Eve is a time to celebrate. But police say for Cyril L. Byrd, New Year's Eve 1998 was a time to pick a fight.
Cops say it all started with two limousines. A group of people rode in the limos from Covington, Kentucky and Cincinnati, Ohio to downtown Cincinnati to party at the bars and celebrate.
Byrd never left home without a wad of at least $10,000 dollars in his pocket and he was always strapped.
Cyril Byrd organized the get-together, and made sure it was reserved for high rollers only. First stop for the party train? A motel in Springfield, Ohio. Cops say the men and women partied for a little while and then decided to head to a big bash held at the convention center by basketball star Tyrone Hill. As everyone left the hotel in the two limos, the group kept in touch with 2-way radios.
Eventually tiring of the convention center party scene, Byrd and his crew went on to the Bond Hill section of Cincinnati, to finish out their night on the town at the Oasis Bar. They partied there for a few hours, but all the fun came to a crashing halt around 4 a.m., when everyone went to collect their jackets from the club's coat check.
Investigators say Byrd spied a fur coat he swore was his, but a woman was putting it on. Thinking she was trying to sneak away with his stuff, they say Byrd moved in for a closer look. But police say the woman was part of a Cincinnati group known to cops as a rough crowd, and they didn't like Byrd's accusations. The woman's boyfriend stepped in to the argument to keep Byrd away from his woman. But, cops say, Byrd's crew joined in and a fight broke out between the two groups.
Police say that's when Byrd decided to kick it up a notch, pulling out a gun and shooting up the entrance to the club. Cops say a security guard, Jerry Gilbert, got in the way and was shot dead. In a sad irony, the guard had ordered a bulletproof vest to wear on the job at the club, but the vest hadn't yet come in. The boyfriend of the woman in the fur coat was hit, too, but he survived. Police say some people in Byrd's group even chased down a third guy who ran out of the club, and pistol-whipped and robbed him.
Then, cops say Byrd and his crew got into the two limos they had parked outside, and went on their way. Some of them went back to an apartment and were soon found by police. But Byrd got away.
After talking to the some of the crew who were in the limos and people at the club, cops fingered Cyril Byrd as Jerry's killer. But, by then, Byrd was long gone.
In the days following the murder, even as Byrd's apartment was being watched by cops, someone got inside in the middle of the night and cleaned the place out.
Byrd disappeared and wasn't seen until six years later, when he was busted under an alias in Phoenix, in 2005. He was arrested on suspicion of illegal activity after cops say they caught him with a large amount of money. Byrd told police he got it from being a boxing promoter. He gave them the name Miles Nelson, and cops released him before his fingerprints came back as Byrd. Now police fear he could be anywhere.
Byrd claims to be a boxing promoter but it's never been proven. He also may be involved in the entertainment or nightclub industry, so cops think he stays on the move. Investigators say there's evidence he's spent time recently in Arizona, California, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Police also say he has strong ties to Columbus, so he may be spending time there.
According to authorities: Byrd likes to live lavishly. He loves to wear fur coats and he likes to travel in limo's. He's also considered armed and extremely dangerous.
The FBI is offering a $10,000 reward for his capture.