CORTEZ, CO – A routine traffic stop turned deadly on Wednesday when a Colorado police officer and a suspect were shot, according to local law enforcement.
Sgt. Michael Moran, 46, of the Cortez Police Department, initiated a traffic stop on South Broadway shortly before 11:30 a.m. when he was fired upon, as reported by the Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office. Sgt. Moran was critically injured and later succumbed to his injuries at Southwest Memorial Hospital.
The suspects fled the scene in their vehicle, leading to a pursuit by police. The suspects were located in the 7500 block of Hwy 160-491, where a further exchange of gunfire occurred between them and the officers.
During the confrontation, one suspect was fatally shot, while another was apprehended. No additional officers were harmed during the incident. The identities and further details of the suspects have not been released by the police.
Before joining the police force, Moran served nine years in the U.S. Marines, including two tours in Iraq. He joined the Cortez Police Department in 2012 and quickly advanced, becoming a K-9 handler in 2016. Moran’s K-9 partner, Otto, retired in 2020.
Moran leaves behind two daughters, along with friends and family. His colleagues at the police department remember him for his dedication to service and his unique sense of humor.