Texas police chase, fatally shoot Florida fugitive

Associated Press

GRAPEVINE, Texas (AP) — A Florida prisoner who escaped in Texas after stabbing a detective with his eyeglasses was shot and killed by law enforcement officers early Saturday after police responded to a report of a home burglary near Dallas, authorities said.

Alberto Morales was shot shortly after midnight when officers, with assistance from a police helicopter, spotted him in a wooded area near a lake in North Texas, Grapevine police Sgt. Robert Eberling said. Two hours earlier, officers responded to a report that jewelry and men's clothing had been stolen during a break-in at a home near where Morales was found.

Eberling said police officers and U.S. marshals were trying to apprehend Morales when he was shot, but he declined to say whether the fugitive had a weapon or made any threats toward them. He said Morales was still wearing part of his prison-issued jumpsuit as well as jogging pants, but Eberling said he couldn't comment on whether the stolen clothing and jewelry was found with him.

The residents arrived home around 10:30 p.m. Friday to discover the burglary at their home and called law enforcement officials, Eberling said.

The 42-year-old Morales escaped Monday at a Wal-Mart store parking lot in Grapevine, a community near the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Police said he used a sharp piece from his eyeglasses to stab a Miami-Dade detective who was transferring him by car to Nevada, where Morales was to serve a sentence of 30 years to life after being convicted of a sexual assault.

Det. Jaime Pardinas was expected to recover after being treated at a Dallas hospital for deep stab wounds to the neck, shoulder and back and a collapsed lung. It wasn't clear when he would be released.

Pardinas was accompanied by Miami-Dade Detective David Carrero during the transfer. They flew to Houston with Morales and then decided to drive the rest of the way after he became disruptive on the flight. They had stopped near the store while waiting for a third officer who was flying to the Dallas area to join them. Department policy requires three officers to be present for ground transfers of prisoners.

On a recording of a 911 call of the incident released Wednesday, Pardinas can be heard breathing heavily as he tells the operator that he's been stabbed. He described Morales' height, weight and appearance and then added, "He's a schizophrenic."

The escape set off a massive five-day manhunt in North Texas.

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