MIAMI, Fla. —
The two officers stopped to use the restroom at the store late Monday, and while Carrero was inside, Morales got hold of a sharp object, stabbed Pardinas and fled, authorities said.
"He was handcuffed. We don't know how he got the handcuffs free," Patterson said.
It's unclear if Morales' hands were cuffed in front or behind him or if he was shackled. Miami police also declined to speculate on how Morales obtained the object he used to stab the officer. Morales, who was born in Cuba, is believed to have run away.
Police in Grapevine, northwest of Dallas, said they believe Morales is still on foot somewhere nearby and are pursuing several leads, department spokesman Sgt. Robert Eberling said. A $10,000 reward has been set for any information leading to his arrest. The local school district has locked all exterior doors, but classes were running normally.
Longtime Las Vegas defense attorney Marc Saggese, who represented Morales in a Nevada criminal case, said his client claimed he suffered a severe brain injury when he was hit in the head with a baseball bat at 17 years old. Morales said he heard voices and had trouble controlling impulses.
"He said that ever since that attack and subsequent surgeries he has been struggling with demons in his head," Saggese said.
While in a jail medical ward, Morales mutilated his genitals and scrawled words in blood on the wall. He underwent a psychological examination by doctors at a Nevada state mental hospital in Sparks, but he was found competent to stand trial, the attorney said.
Morales eventually pleaded guilty in 2008 to sexually assaulting a woman at an apartment blocks away from the Las Vegas Strip in 2003. The woman told police a man jumped from her closet in the middle of the night, held a gun to her face, blindfolded her, attacked her several times and left after telling her he would kill her if she called police, according to Clark County District Court documents.