Metro Transit Police Officer Marlon Francisco Morales, who was shot last Sunday night while on routine patrol at the U Street/African American Civil War Memorial/Cardozo Metrorail station , died of his wounds at approximately 3:30 a.m. today.
"There is nothing more tragic than the loss of a police officer in the line of duty," said Metro Transit Police Chief Barry McDevitt . "While Officer Morales was with us only a short time, he made a very positive impression on those who were fortunate enough to get to know him. We grieve for the officer and his family, but are sustained by the fact he departed this life doing what he loved —being a police officer."
Officer Morales was shot at approximately 9:13 p.m. this past Sunday (June 10, 2001) by an unidentified assailant. The officer had been asked by the Metro station manager to intervene in a fare dispute just prior to the shooting. Officer Morales' assailant remains at large.
Marlon Francisco Morales was born on December 26, 1968 in Ascuncio Mita, Guatemala. He came to [United States] with his parents in 1984 at the age of fifteen, and was granted US Citizenship on June 18, 1993.
On November 14, 1997, he married his wife, Jennifer, in a Las Vegas, Nevada ceremony. Mrs. Morales is employed as a teacher in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The couple has three children, Jeramy (Marlon's stepson), Joshua, and Meghan. Jeramy turns eleven years old today (June 13), Joshua is eight and Megan was born on May 22, 2001.
Officer Morales served in the United States Army from 1988 to 1992, when, as a veteran of the Gulf War, he was honorably discharged. He graduated from Western Illinois University in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration.
Officer Morales' first true experience with law enforcement came in 1999 when he worked as an intern with the Illinois State Police. While working with that agency, Marlon was described by a Special Agent with whom he worked as "professional and trustworthy, and having the necessary instincts required for working in the field of law enforcement."
Officer Morales moved to the Washington metropolitan area in December 1999 and lived in Virginia. He was hired by the Metropolitan Transit Police Department (MTPD) on May 8, 2000 and was graduated from the MTPD Academy on January 12, 2001 with an excellent record.
"Officer Morales was a 'family man' in the truest sense of the term," said Chief McDevitt. "His dedication to his wife and children were evident to all who knew him. In fact, while serving his country abroad during the Gulf War, he described his principal hardship as being away from his loved ones.
"When he was being initially interviewed by us," Chief McDevitt added, "Marlon said the primary reason for wanting to be a police officer was to 'improve his community by helping others.' Now that Officer Morales has passed away, we need others to help us, so we can catch the person responsible for this murder."
The suspect in this case is described as a black male, 25 - 30 years of age, light complexion, 6-feet tall with a slim build, clean-shaven, with a short haircut. At the time of the incident, the suspect was observed wearing a blue hockey jersey, brown shorts, white and blue high-top tennis shoes. The suspect was carrying a black back pack.
Anyone with information on this case should contact the DC Metropolitan Police Department (which is now the lead law enforcement agency investigating Officer Morales' murder) at 202-673-6914; the Metro Transit Police Criminal Investigations Division at 202-962-1792; or Crime Solvers at 1-800-673-2777.
A $22,000 reward is currently being offered for information that leads to the arrest and indictment of the persons responsible for killing Officer Morales. That amount is expected to increase later today.
The DC Metropolitan Police Department today added $10,000 to that reward fund. Yesterday, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters local #246 (which represents Metro Transit Police officers) and local #639 contributed $2,000 apiece, for a total of $4,000. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) donated $5,000, Crimesolvers has offered $1,000, and the Fraternal Order of Police contributed $2,000.
Anyone wishing to contribute to the Metro Transit Police Reward Fund may contact the International Brotherhood of Teamsters at 202-526-1070.
In addition to his wife and three children, Officer Morales is also survived by his parents Juan and Zoila Morales, two brothers (Omar and Jaime), and a sister (Doris).