- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 14, 2001

The turnstile jumper who shot a Metro Transit Police officer Sunday night is now on the lam for murder and has a price of at least $28,000 on his head.
Officer Marlon Francisco Morales died about 3:30 a.m. yesterday from his injuries. The 32-year-old officer had served on the force for just over a year. Born in Guatemala, he moved to the United States with his parents at age 15 and gained his citizenship in 1993.
He is survived by his wife, Jennifer, a teacher in Virginia, and three children — stepson Jeramy, who turned 11 yesterday, Joshua, 8, and Meghan, born last month.
"There is nothing more tragic than the loss of a police officer in the line of duty," Metro Transit Police Chief Barry McDevitt said. "While Officer Morales was with us only a short time, he made a very positive impression on those of us who were fortunate enough to get to know him."
Officials with the Metropolitan Police Department, which has jurisdiction over homicides in the District, said yesterday they were following up on leads and had nothing new to report.
A public information officer said he had no information about a report that a car connected to the case was impounded overnight.
Officer Morales followed and confronted a man who pushed his way through a turnstile at the U Street/African American Civil War Memorial/Cardozo station about 9:13 p.m. Sunday, after the man argued with the station manager who witnessed the evasion.
The suspect then shot Officer Morales in the head and fled the station. The officers firearm and ammunition clips were missing, and investigators believe the suspect took them.
The suspect was described as a clean-shaven, short-haired black male, 25 to 30 years old and 6 feet tall with a slim build and light complexion. At the time of the incident, he was wearing a blue hockey jersey, brown shorts, and white and blue high-top tennis shoes. He was carrying a black backpack.
Law enforcement colleagues remembered Officer Morales for his dedication to family and service.
"He was a family man, a hard worker and a dedicated officer. This is what he really wanted to do," said Metro Officer Anthony Mendoza. The two men became fast friends when they met at the start of Metro Transit Police Departments training academy last May.
"He always had a good sense of humor and an open mind, and that is hard to come by in this profession," Officer Mendoza said. "This shouldnt have happened to him, and theres no way he did anything to bring this on."
Officer Morales was a Gulf War veteran who served in the U.S. Army from 1988 to 1992. He earned a bachelor of science degree in law enforcement and justice administration from Western Illinois University in 1999 and began working for the Illinois State Police.
He then moved to Northern Virginia and joined the Metro Transit Police Department.
"While serving his country abroad during the Gulf War, he described his principal hardship as being away from his loved ones," Chief McDevitt said. "When he was being initially interviewed by us, Marlon said the primary reason for wanting to be a police officer was to improve his community by helping others."
A black drape was hung on the wall of Metro Transit Police headquarters in Northwest, signaling the force had lost one of its own.
Officer Morales is the second law enforcement officer to die in the line of duty in the District during the past year and the first transit officer killed on duty since 1993, when Officer Harry Davis, an 11-year-veteran, was slain during a traffic stop.
The reward for information leading to the arrest and indictment of the suspect grew to at least $28,000, a Metro official said yesterday. That figure is expected to rise this week, and the Metro board of directors is expected to add to it today. D.C. police, Metro, the Fraternal Order of Police, two unions representing transit officers and workers and others all have contributed.
In addition to a reward for helping find the suspect, Metro police have established a fund for his family. Details will be announced after funeral arrangements are finalized, said Metro Deputy Chief Polly Hanson.
Metro Transit officers and WMATA employees have started to give generously, she said.
Donations can be sent to 600 Fifth St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001.
Anyone with information on the case should call the D.C. police department at 202/673-6914; the Metro Transit Police criminal investigation division at 202/962-1792; or CrimeSolvers at 1-800-673-2777.
Attorney General John Ashcroft yesterday noted the "great grief for the District law enforcement community and for all residents" after Officer Morales slaying.
Mr. Ashcroft called Officer Morales "a dedicated law enforcement officer" during an unrelated news conference with D.C. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey and Mayor Anthony A. Williams, who both expressed condolences to the officers family.

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