( 4UMF NEWS ) Fugitive Dead:
The manhunt for escaped convict Alberto Morales ended early Saturday in a hail of gunfire as the fugitive was cornered by police and shot and killed in a small town in Texas.
Authorities said Morales, who had somehow slipped out of his handcuffs since escaping police Monday, lunged at the officers with wooden sticks, according to Texas authorities.
Morales, 41, had been on the run since overpowering a Miami-Dade police detective, stabbing him with his eyeglasses and disappearing from a Walmart in a Dallas suburb. Two Miami-Dade detectives had been escorting Morales, a violent sex offender, to a Las Vegas prison at the time of his escape to finish serving a 30-years-to-life prison term.
“Obviously, we are very relieved,’’ Miami-Dade Deputy Mayor Genaro “Chip” Iglesias said Saturday. “We are relieved that he will not be able to hurt anybody else.’’
The detective, Jaime Pardinas, survived but suffered a collapsed lung. He is recovering at a Dallas-area hospital.
Iglesias said he had just returned from Dallas about 1:30 a.m. Saturday when he got word Morales had been killed. He and Miami-Dade police Deputy Director Juan Perez flew to Dallas on Thursday. Hundreds of law enforcement officers, including about a dozen from Miami, had been hunting Morales for days.
Morales’ capture came shortly after midnight in the woods near a residential lakefront community in Grapevine, Texas, north of Dallas.
Police responding on a burglary call found that men’s clothing and jewelry had been taken and surrounded the area.
The neighborhood is just three miles from the Walmart where Morales was last seen, fleeing Miami-Dade police detectives about 11 p.m. Monday.
Morales, who was on Texas’ 10-most wanted list, was spotted in a wooded area where he brandished wooden sticks in an effort to elude police. Before he could attack, he was killed by members of the fugitive task force, said Grapevine police Sgt. Robert Eberling.
He did not immediately release details, saying that more information would become public later Saturday.
Morales, a schizophrenic with a long history of violence, was extradited to Miami four years ago from Las Vegas where he was in jail on charges of sexual assault. During the time he was in prison in Nevada, Miami police identified him as the rapist who had kidnapped and assaulted two women in Little Havana in 2003. He was convicted in Miami and sentenced to 10 years in prison, which he would have been required to serve if he was ever released by Nevada authorities. Miami-Dade was returning him to Nevada to serve out his term there.
Morales’ Nevada attorney, Marc Saggese said his client suffered a severe brain injury when he was hit in the head with a baseball bat when he was 17 and has heard voices ever since.
“He said that ever since that attack and subsequent surgeries he has struggling demons in his head,” Saggese told The Associated Press.
While in a jail medical ward, Morales mutilated his genitals and scrawled words in blood on the wall. He underwent a psychological examination by doctors at a Nevada state mental hospital in Sparks, but he was found competent to stand trial, the attorney said.
Two Miami-Dade detectives, Pardinas and David Carrero, were assigned to transport Morales via commercial plane on Monday. However, when the plane made a scheduled layover in Houston, Morales was kicked off because he had been causing a disturbance by banging his head against the seats in front and behind him.
- Miami-Dade fugitive shot dead in Texas (miamiherald.com)
- Texas police kill Florida fugitive who stabbed Miami-Dade detective (miamiherald.com)
- Grapevine police chase, fatally shoot Miami fugitive (star-telegram.com)
- Fugitive Alberto Morales shot, killed near Lake Grapevine (wfaa.com)
- Police in Texas Kill Miami Fugitive Alberto Morales (nbcmiami.com)