Officers Were Forced to Shoot to Kill Morales: Police - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Officers Were Forced to Shoot to Kill Morales: Police



    We've learned more about fugitive Alberto Morales in the minutes before he was shot and killed by law enforcement early Saturday. (Published Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013)

    Grapevine police said in his final moments of life, 42-year-old Alberto Morales attempted to do what he had done successfully in the past, evade capture. 

    But this time, he ultimately failed.

    "Officers surrounded Mr. Morales," Sgt. Robert Eberling with Grapevine police said. "They gave him commands to surrender. He failed to do so. He failed to display his hands, He kept his hands concealed and when Morales lunged at the officers,  they subsequently shot him fearing for their safety."
    Officers were concerned because they said he was armed with sticks. “He was very skilled and crafty as far as making makeshift edge weapons inside of prison and I think that was certainly in the forethought of the officers who encountered him today,” Sgt. Eberling said.
    Since Morales' daring escape Monday night using a pair of eyeglasses, officers said he ditched the shorts he was wearing and found other clothing. On Saturday morning, when he was discovered, he was wearing long pants. He was also less than four miles north of the Wal-Mart parking lot where he escaped.
    In a news conference early Saturday morning, police told NBC DFW that Morales was shot and killed around 12:25 a.m. in the 2200 block of Lake Ridge Drive near Grapevine Lake.
    The latest and last search began after Grapevine Police received a burglary call from a home in the same area late Friday night. Officers said men's clothing and jewelry were missing from the home.
    "We are somewhat surprised that someone was able to, especially with the weather, the terrain up there, that someone was able to remain hidden," said Sgt. Eberling.
    With Morales no longer a worry for so many people, many are now breathing a collective sigh of relief.
    "It's been a long arduous week with everyone involved in this investigation," said Sgt. Eberling. "I think for the most the part the officers are relieved that we no longer have a threat out there." 
    Detective Pardinas Released
    The Miami-Dade, Florida Police Department said Detective Jaime Pardinas walked out of Dallas' Parkland Memorial Hospital on Saturday and is now resting at a Dallas/Fort Worth area hotel.
    Doctors said he is not allowed to travel home to Miami until Monday at the earliest.
    On a 911 call released last week, 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."
    In a news conference at Parkland Hospital Wednesday, authorities said Pardinas was stabbed very deeply in the neck and back and that he suffered a collapsed lung.
    Reaction From South Florida
    Pardinas' sister Cyntia Shand told NBC News in Miami she is relieved to hear Morales is no longer alive.  "I personally feel ashamed anyone has to die but this man [Morales] was such a criminal, it's actually a relief that he won't hurt anyone or cause any further terror," Shand said.
    She also spoke about her concerns for the community of Grapevine. "Could you imagine the terror that, that community (Grapevine) had to endure with lock down in schools and communities that felt threatened? It's over. It's a relief actually."
    Shand added that her brother, Pardinas, is recovering well. "He sounds strong, he's cracking jokes," Shand said. "But his main concern is to protect our family, our privacy.. just to make sure we maintain our family closeness." "He's our hero.. but let him be the public's hero."
    The police department in Miami-Dade released the following statement in response to news that Morales had been killed.:
    "I want to thank the Grapevine Police Department, Fort Worth Police Department, the U.S. Marshal's Fugitive Task Force, and all other law enforcement agencies, along with the city of Dallas, and the entire state of Texas,for putting an end to the manhunt.  I would also like to thank the local EMS service and Parkland Memorial Hospital for their skilled and proficient life-saving care.
    To our Detective Jaime Pardinas, I commend you for your will to live through this horrible event that you've endured, and we look forward to your safe return home.
    To the victims who suffered at the hands of this diabolical individual, may you now have peace knowing that he will not be able to hurt you or anyone else again.
    May God continue to guide us and protect us as we continue to fight the battle of good verses evil."
    --J.D. Patterson, Director