Fugitive prisoner Alberto Morales, 42, who escaped from Miami-Dade County detectives near the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport on February 11, 2013, was shot dead by officers in Grapevine, Texas, early on February 16. Police received numerous tips regarding Morales’ movements, but had trouble locating the convict after he attacked one of the detectives transporting him with a shiv and escaped from a Walmart parking lot.
Police finally caught up with the Morales, who had sworn that he would never return to captivity, after receiving a 911 call from Teresa and Brian Parker about a break in. The Parkers returned home at about 10 p.m. on February 15 to find a broken window and the bedroom door locked. Teresa parker called 911 saying that the intruder could still be in the home. The dispatcher told them to get out, get into their vehicle and lock the doors. Police arrived and on searching the home found several items missing including clothing and jewelry. They caught up with Morales after midnight in a wooded area controlled by the Army Corps of Engineers near the southern end of Grapevine Lake. Armed officers told Morales to get down on the ground with his hands up, but he reportedly rushed them with sticks in his hands, no other weapon, was shot down at 12:25 a.m. It is assume that he got his shackles off at some point after his escape, but that detail is not mentioned in the reports at this time. Some items of jewelry were recovered in the woods and the clothes Morales was wearing are believed to have belonged to Brian Parker.
Though the manhunt is over, the investigation continues as questions remain about Morales’ obviously planned escape. Morales had been extradited from Nevada to Florida where he pleaded guilty to charges and was sentenced to ten years to run concurrently with the 30-year sentence he was serving in Nevada for rape. When it came time to return him to Nevada, Morales was shackled and loaded onto a plane with two detectives. Morales, who is believed to have suffered from mental illness, became disruptive enough on the flight that when the plane landed in Dallas he was removed. Deputies opted to complete his transfer by car.
They rented a car at the airport, but required a third deputy to accompany them on their cross-county drive. They decided to wait it out at the Walmart parking lot in Grapevine, which is where Morales took out the shiv he had with him and stabbed Miami-Dade Detective Jaime Pardinas in the back, chest and neck, making his escape — with his shackles on.
Miami-Dade detectives reportedly did not alert police in Grapevine to their presence until after the escape. Had they done so, Morales, who was considered a dangerous sex offender, could possibly have been held in a cell until the third Florida detective arrived. Also, the detectives kept Morales in shackles rather than using more secure plastic handcuffs. Also, it is also unclear why Morales was in civilian attire and how he managed to hold onto the shiv that he had prepared for the attack. It would seem that both airport security and Florida police failed to effectively search the prisoner. Luckily no one else was hurt in the escape and manhunt for Morales.