A disturbing incident involving a shooting inside a busy Washington D.C. metro station has received a lot of media attention, but all the reports conspicuously fail to mention if the suspect is an illegal immigrant. A man was captured on camera firing a gun down the escalator of the Columbia Heights Metro station in Northwest Washington in the middle of the afternoon on August 25. He eluded police for days and authorities needed help capturing him so they revealed he had an extensive criminal history and identified him as 22-year-old Cesar Morales, Hispanic with brown eyes, black hair and facial and neck tattoos common among members of violent street gangs.
Law enforcement bulletins warned that Morales was armed and dangerous and local media outlets included screenshots of the Metro D.C. Police Department’s social media alert asking for the public’s help in apprehending Morales. It includes a mug shot of the suspect, who has four tattoos on his face and a large one across his neck. It turns out that Morales had just served a five-year sentence after getting convicted of several gun charges involving the 2013 shooting of a D.C. man.
Washington D.C.’s mainstream newspaper reported that the Federal Bureau of Prisons said Morales walked away form a halfway house overseen by the Baltimore Residential Reentry Management Office, which supervises facilities in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware and D.C. Morales was moved to the halfway house as part of a system to help inmates transition back into society. If Morales is in the U.S. illegally, he should have been deported not transitioned back into society.
“Witnesses were unnerved at that brazenness of a man opening fire at 12:15 p.m. in what normally is a bustling transit stop adjacent to a shopping center,” the article states. Another local news report describes “alarming video” that shows two men chasing someone in the station. The shooter left behind a gun, the report says, and the intended target fled. Other coverage mentions a brief foot pursuit before police lost Morales on the day of the shooting and detailed physical descriptions of the suspect, between 5-foot-2 and 5-foot-5, around 150 pounds.
This information is just at pertinent as the suspect’s legal status yet no media outlet bothered to include it. Why is it being completely left out of all the news coverage? Even the local Fox news affiliate left it out of a follow-up piece about Morales getting apprehended by Montgomery County Police in Maryland days after the metro station shooting. The information is attributed to Montgomery Police Captain Paul Starks, who offered no further details. Judicial Watch reached out to the D.C. and Montgomery police departments to inquire about Morales’s legal status but neither returned calls.
Montgomery and D.C. protect illegal immigrants from federal authorities by offering them sanctuary. Earlier this year, local government in the nation’s capital took it a step further by launching a defense fund to help illegal aliens facing deportation. D.C.’s new taxpayer-funded initiative is called Immigrant Justice Legal Services (IJLS) and it pays organizations and law firms to help illegal aliens apply for asylum, represent them in deportation proceedings and conduct “know your rights” briefings and workshops, among other things.
“In Washington, DC we embrace our diversity and strive to be more inclusive,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said in an announcement when she launched the new defense fund, adding that months earlier she “reaffirmed” Washington D.C.’s status as a sanctuary city. “We must ensure that all District residents can take advantage of their federal and constitutional rights,” Bowser said. “Through the Immigrant Justice Legal Services grant program, we are ensuring that if immigration enforcement changes and problems arise, DC’s immigrant population will have our support and the support of DC’s legal community.”
In Montgomery, an affluent Maryland county, a longtime sanctuary policy led to a series of high-profile murders and other heinous crimes committed by illegal immigrants who had been arrested by local police and released. Under the county’s sanctuary policy, the offenders were not reported to federal authorities for deportation despite their criminal histories. In one year alone, illegal aliens who had been previously arrested in the area committed four murders, including that of a high school honor student and an elderly woman.
Two of the killings involved members of the notoriously violent MS-13 or Mara Salvatrucha gang, whose crime sprees have been enabled by the Montgomery County Police Department’s don’t-ask-don’t-tell immigration policy. This hasn’t stopped Montgomery, where this latest metro shooter was captured, from helping illegal immigrants. Even after the illegal alien crime spree, the county dedicated $100,000 to provide “application assistance” to illegal immigrants spared from deportation under President Obama’s backdoor amnesty plan.