statesman.com | Man shot by deputy U.S. marshal had long criminal history | The Blotter

Man shot by deputy U.S. marshal had long criminal history
By Steven Kreytak | Friday, February 13, 2009, 05:41 PM

The fugitive shot Thursday night by a deputy U.S. marshal in Northwest Austin has a criminal history dating back to the 1980s and had been wanted on a parole violation for drugs and car theft charges, local and federal law enforcment officials said at press conference Thursday.

“It’s very clear Mr. Douglas Morse is a very dangerous man,” said Assistant Austin Police Chief David Carter.

Carter and Austin Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal Hector Gomez said the investigation continues but indications are that the deputy marshal, who they would not identify, acted appropriately in shooting Douglas Morse, 41, while trying to arrest him at a Northwest Austin apartment complex.

Morse, who most recently lived in Ausitn, was under guard at University Medical Center at Brackenridge Thursday, Carter said. He faces a bevy of charges, including evading arrest, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and aggravated assault with a motor vehicle.

Carter said that initially Travis County prosecutors were assisting in the case but then learned that the incident at the Balcones Club Apartments at 9218 Balcones Club Drive was in Williamson County by about 100 feet. The Williamson County District Attorney’s office will investigate the case, including the shooting, and present evidence to a grand jury if appropriate, he said.

Morse had escaped a sheriff’s deputy Wednesday night in Live Oak County, about 90 miles southeast of San Antonio, after the deputy pulled him over in a stolen vehicle, officials said.

The U.S. marshals-led Lone Star Fugitive Task Force learned he would be heading to the apartment in Northwest Austin and arrived at about the same time, Carter said.

When Austin police and U.S. marshals deputies surrounded his vehicle with their vehicles at the complex, Morse began to try to escape, according to a police affidavit.

At one point he sped into a car holding a U.S. marshals deputy and an Austin police officer, inflicting minor injuries on the pair, the affidavit said.

Morse fled his vehicle on foot and then was shot in the forearm and leg after officials said he appeared to be reaching for his waist area. He did not have a gun on him, Carter said.

“His actions were clearly a threat to the officers, the public,” Carter said, “it’s obvious.”