Alberto Morales was shot dead in a wooded area of Grapevine, Texas. The Florida prisoner who escaped in Texas after stabbing a detective with his eyeglasses was fatally shot early Saturday after refusing to cooperate with officers and lunging at them, police said. The shooting put an end to a massive five-day manhunt that started when Morales escaped Monday from a Wal-Mart parking lot after attacking the Miami-Dade, Fla., detective who was transporting him. Police found Morales a few miles from the parking lot where he escaped and surrounded him.
Morales escaped Monday after he stabbed a Miami detective with part of his eyeglasses. He was being transported to a Nevada prison where he faced decades behind bars for sexual assault. Jaime Pardiñas, the officer wounded in the escape, remains hospitalized but is improving. Authorities say he could be released in “the next day or so.”
Authorities say that Detective Jamie Pardinas, the officer who was stabbed in the throat by Alberto Morales, was released from Parkland Memorial Hospital early Saturday.
“He is resting comfortably and walked out of the hospital on his own,” said Christopher Heisler, who was with Pardinas when he left. “He refused to be wheel-chaired out. He is in great condition and will be out in the street in no-time.”
Sgt. Robert Eberling, spokesman for the Grapevine Police Department, says Alberto Morales was located at 12:25 Saturday morning near the 2200 block of Lake Ridge Drive, which is just a little more than three miles from the Wal-Mart on State Highway 114 from which he escaped Monday night. Grapevine police and the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force found him hiding in a wooded area.
“Members of the Fugitive Task Force responded to search the surrounding area,” says Eberling’s early morning release. “With the assistance of a Fort Worth Police Department helicopter, Morales was spotted in a wooded area not far from the home that had been broken into. Members of the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force, Miami-Dade Police Department and Grapevine Police Department saturated the wooded area. Morales was located and was shot while trying to apprehend him.”
Grapevine police Sgt. Robert Eberling said at a Saturday news conference that officers instructed Morales to lie on the ground and show his hands, but he rushed toward them. Morales, 42-year-old, were unarmed at the time of the shooting and were not wearing handcuffs. He was holding some sticks, Eberling said.
“He was very skilled and crafty as far as making makeshift edged weapons inside the prison. That was in the forethoughts of the officers. He was able to almost kill an officer with some eyeglasses,” Eberling added.
It’s unclear how many times he was shot. Morales’ body has been transferred to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office.
When he was shot, Morales was wearing long pants, which he didn’t have when he escaped. He also had a jail-issued sweatshirt.
Police are still investigating Morales’ movement over the past few days. It’s unclear whether he spent the whole time in the woods. No campsite or other possessions were found. “We are somewhat surprised that someone was able to remain hidden for that long, especially with the weather and inclement conditions of the past few days,” Eberling said.