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Fugitive who stabbed officer fatally shot after manhunt in Texas

by

By Marice Richter

GRAPEVINE, Texas (Reuters) - A five-day manhunt for a Florida fugitive who escaped from prison transport officers in Texas ended early on Saturday when he was shot and killed by law enforcement a few miles from the parking lot where he first got away, police said.

Alberto Morales, who had stabbed one of the transport officers with a piece of his eyeglasses, was caught shortly after midnight in a wooded area near a lake in the Dallas-Fort Worth suburb of Grapevine, about three miles from the parking lot where he escaped on Monday, police said.

He was shot while law enforcement officials were trying to apprehend him, Grapevine police said in a statement on Saturday.

Morales was not armed but had his hands concealed when law enforcement approached, Grapevine police Officer Sam Shemwell told Reuters. It was later determined that he had sticks in his hands, Shemwell said.

"We're very relieved that the situation has been resolved and our community can return to safety," Shemwell said.

Police and U.S. marshals had combed the area after local authorities received a report on Friday of a home burglary near the lake. Men's clothing and jewelry were stolen, according to the police statement.

Law enforcement officials had searched for Morales, 42, since Monday, when they said he repeatedly stabbed a Miami-Dade detective with a sharpened piece of his eyeglasses before escaping.

The detective had been helping transfer Morales from Florida to Nevada, where the inmate was due to serve a life prison sentence after being convicted of sexual assault with a deadly weapon.

Officers had traveled with him by plane to Houston, but after he became disruptive on the flight, they rented a car to drive him the rest of the way to Nevada.

Morales stabbed the detective while they were waiting in the vehicle for a second officer who went inside a Walmart store to use the restroom, police said.

The detective underwent surgery for his injuries and is expected to be released from the hospital on Saturday, police said.

Grapevine police had said Morales was considered extremely dangerous, and a $12,500 reward was offered for information that might lead to his arrest.

(Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Vicki Allen)

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