Hate-Crime Murder Suspect Bragged, ‘He Thought He Was Tough, So I Shot Him’

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Elliot Morales.
Elliot Morales.

Police said last month that Elliot Morales was laughing as they arrested him for allegedly shooting Mark Carson in the West Village, and according to court papers unsealed on Tuesday, he also bragged about why he committed the murder. "He thought he was tough, and I shot him. It's the last thing he'll remember," said Morales, who police say made homophobic remarks to a bartender, then followed Carson and his friends while hurling gay slurs. He added, "Guy thought he was tough in front of his bitch so I shot him. Diagnosis is dead, doctor."

Shortly after the murder, police spotted Morales a few blocks away and ordered him to stop. He pointed his revolver at the officer, who managed to tackle him while he fumbled with the weapon. According to court records, most of Morales's comments to police were videotaped. In a rambling statement, he said he's homeless and described his troubled family situation, which he said drove him to alcoholism. Morales served eleven years in state prison for robbery, and was released in 2010. “This is gonna kill my mom,” he said. “I always hurt her and make bad decisions in life and make her cry.”

A day later, Morales said he didn't remember what happened on the night of Carson's murder and “woke up with cops on me.” He also told police, "I am not gay. I don’t have a problem with gay people. I have lots of gays in my life." In court on Tuesday, Morales pleaded not guilty to murder as a hate crime, weapon possession, and pointing a gun at a police officer. He could face life in prison.