Ex-con says he's not sorry for shooting parole officer

April 16, 2010 3:25:21 PM PDT
Robert Morales, 50, says he isn't sorry. Not for a second. He told reporters today his parole officer got what he deserved. Morales, a paroled murderer, came to a Brooklyn parole office on Thursday intending to kill again. The target was his parole officer this time, and he almost succeeded.

Veteran Officer Samuel Salters was shot once in the shoulder during what was supposed to be a routine visit with Morales.

The shooting happened just before 7:00 p.m at 333 Schermerhorn Street inside the State Division of Parole office in downtown Brooklyn. The lobby does not have any metal detectors.

Terrence Cofield, another parolee who witnessed the shooting, told Eyewitness News that the shooter was sitting in a room waiting for his name to be called. As soon as it was, Cofield said he got up, walked into the adjoining office and shot the parole officer once in the shoulder.

"He looked just regular. Middle-aged white guy. He had a ponytail. The same face he had when he had coming in he had going out. No expression," Cofield said.

State parole spokesman Marc Violette says another parole officer then tackled Morales. The weapon was recovered. He was arrested.

"One shot was going to be to the head when he misfired," parole officer Manuelita Clemente said.

Our sources say Morales, who had been first supervised by Salters five years ago, was angry at being re-assigned to the officer. He told investigators he knew he could get a gun into the office because it didn't have metal detectors, and then aimed for the officer's face.

"We're not going to put up with this no more. We want metal detectors in every single office," Clemente said.

It's a hot button issue for parole officers, who point out that most office buildings and many schools have metal detectors.

"We're dealing with the worst of the worst," Clemente said.

Last March, parole officers at the Queens office had to shoot a registered sex offender who pulled a knife on a parole officer. The response? The State Division of parole enlisted an enormous amount of manpower to do one-day sweeps. We were secretly flagged about one in Suffolk County. Officers say that's not the answer. They add it's not just about the safety of officers, but also the others who come to the officers.