Convicted Killer Shoots Parole Officer; "I'm Just Sorry He's Not Dead"
Police shut down Schemerhorn Street in Brooklyn where parole officer Samuel Salters was shot Thursday night. [AP]
New York Daily News via YellowBrix
April 17, 2010
The remorseless shooter of a Brooklyn parole officer had only two regrets Friday: blowing his point-blank chance to kill the man over an old grudge and walking out of the victim’s office alive.
Robert Morales made a 16-minute videotaped confession where he admitted visiting his parole officer Thursday night with murder on his mind, sources told the Daily News.
Morales said he intended to shoot Samuel Salters in the face, but missed and hit him in the shoulder with his only shot. At one point, a source said, the unrepentant Morales interrupted his confession to look a detective in the eye.
“This is a slam dunk for you guys,” he declared.
A stone-faced Morales wounded Salters before his gun jammed. He was overpowered by armed parole officers without a retaliatory shot.
Morales, led from the 84th Precinct stationhouse in handcuffs, expressed a regret: that Salters was still breathing.
“I’m just sorry he’s not dead,” said a bedraggled Morales, 50, his ponytail dangling over a scraggly blue and white plaid shirt.
“He deserved it,” the goateed suspect said. “He’s an a—hole.”
The shooter was driven off in a police car after his cold-blooded comments.
Friends said Morales intended to murder his by-the-book parole officer before dying himself in a blaze of law enforcement bullets.
Morales gave away his clothes and his Play Station, left a suicide note and packed a 9-mm. Ruger for his meeting with Salters.
“He wanted to kill this dude, and he wanted to die,” lifelong friend Chuck DeJesus said Friday. "He kept saying all week, ’I’m tired. I can’t take this anymore.
DeJesus, 51, who lived on the same floor of a Brooklyn apartment building as Morales, said his friend was worn out by Salters’ constant attention.
“Robert just snapped,” DeJesus said. “A man can only take so much.”
Salters, 49, underwent four hours of surgery at Bellevue Hospital and suffered a pair of heart attacks, officials said. He was listed in stable condition.
The pair had a grudge going back 4-1/2 years, when Morales questioned Salters’ manhood during an argument in the parole offices.
The uneasy duo was reunited in February when Salters took over Morales’ case. The hard feelings resurfaced, and Morales wrote in his note that he felt pushed to the limit.
“I couldn’t do this another way, but it is what it is,” he wrote. “Done deal.”
More than 40 parole officers cheered after Morales – who killed an 8-year-old boy in a 1977 arson fire – was ordered held without bail.
Morales’ brother insisted Salters put too much pressure on the parolee. “Everyone knew this parole officer was harassing my brother,” he said.
Other parolees described Salters as tough but fair. “He’s a nice guy, but he lets you know he’s the man,” said Orlando Nieves, 54.