Fugitive Alberto Morales shot, killed in Grapevine

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by JASON WHITELY

WFAA

Posted on February 16, 2013 at 9:42 AM

Updated Saturday, Feb 16 at 9:44 AM

GRAPEVINE — After an intensive four-day manhunt, fugitive Alberto Morales was shot and killed near Grapevine Lake late Friday night, according to Grapevine police.

"I'm just so elated," said one neighborhood resident. "I'm so happy; I'm so relieved that this man's been caught and we don't have to be on such a lookout."

The beginning of the end for Morales came when police responded to a residential burglary report about 5 p.m. Friday and discovered men’s clothes and jewelry had been taken.

The task force grew suspicious with the theft of clothing, and refocused its search for Morales in the area of Forest Hill and Snakey Road in the Lake Ridge area, where the burglary happened.

Morales was eventually found just before midnight in a wooded area about 100 yards from the Lake Forest Boat Club  with the help of the Fort Worth police helicopter.

"At this point, as far as the investigation's concerned, Mr. Morales was shot and is now deceased," said Grapevine police spokesman Sgt. Robert Eberling. "We're really relieved for the citizens of this community. We knew we had a dangerous individual out there on the streets, and he was capable of being extremely violent."

Grapevine police would not immediately say whether Morales had a weapon, but confirmed that he had removed any shackles that were in place when he escaped.

Morales — considered armed and extremely dangerous — had been at large after stabbing a Miami-Dade County detective with a pair of eyeglasses Monday night as he was in transit to Las Vegas for a trial.

The violent escape happened in the parking lot of a Walmart store in Grapevine.

For days, fear and anxiety grew in Grapevine and surrounding cities after Morales eluded capture. Schools even went on lockdown multiple days this week as a precaution.

Neighbors told News 8 on Facebook and Twitter that they could hear gunshots late Friday night when police finally cornered Morales. One person said the fleeing felon was felled in a horse pasture near some boat houses at Lake Grapevine.

The Miami-Dade County Police Department also confirmed to News 8 that Morales had been killed. Its officer is still recovering at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, but he was expected to be released soon and make a full recovery.

The body was taken to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's office as several dozen officers gathered evidence at the scene.

WFAA Photojournalist Robert Flagg contributed to this report.

E-mail jwhitely@wfaa.com

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