Alberto Morales Manhunt: Texas police kill fugitive prisoner after he allegedly lunges at them

Alberto Morales
Alberto Morales

(CBS/AP) GRAPEVINE, Texas - The massive manhunt for Alberto Morales ended on its fifth day Saturday after officers shot the escaped Florida prisoner to death when he refused to cooperate and lunged at them, police said.

Morales, 42, was shot in a wooded area of Grapevine, a community near the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Morales had escaped from a Texas Wal-Mart parking lot on Feb. 11 after stabbing a Florida detective with his eyeglasses.

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 was unarmed at the time of the shooting and was 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 said.

Police said Morales used a sharp piece from his eyeglasses to stab Miami-Dade Detective Jaime Pardinas in the neck, shoulder and back. Pardinas was transferring Morales by car to Nevada, where he was to serve a sentence of 30 years to life after being convicted of a sexual assault.

Pardinas was treated at a Dallas hospital for deep stab wounds and a collapsed lung. Parkland Memorial Hospital spokeswoman April Foran said he was released Saturday.

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 stopped near Wal-Mart 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 was stabbed. He described Morales' height, weight and appearance and then added, "He's a schizophrenic."

Miami-Dade Police Department director J.D. Patterson commended Pardinas in an emailed statement Saturday and thanked the law enforcement agencies that took part in the manhunt.

"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," Patterson said.

Eberling said investigators believe Morales had been planning his escape for some time.

Complete coverage of Alberto Morales on Crimesider