Cortez Police Sgt. Michael Moran died after exchanging gunfire with suspects on Wednesday. He was 46 years old.
It began about 11:25 a.m. when an officer initiated a traffic stop on South Broadway in the southwestern Colorado town.
Shots were fired at Moran and the suspects drove away in their vehicle but were quickly located in the 7500 block of Highway 160-491. That's where additional shots were exchanged between the suspects and officers at the second location.
One suspect died on the scene and a second suspect was taken into custody. Moran was rushed to Southwest Memorial Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
Moran served with the Marines in active duty for 9 years, including two tours in Iraq before joining the Cortez Police Department in 2012.
According to the police department, "As a new officer, Sgt. Moran rose quickly through the ranks, becoming a K-9 handler in 2016. He was most proud of his canine partner Otto who served by his side until retiring in 2020. Sgt. Michael Moran will be remembered by his fellow officers for his dedication and sense of humor. He leaves behind two daughters, many friends, and family."
Flags in the area have been lowered to half-staff in support of the Cortez Police Department.
"I am saddened to hear of the tragic passing of the Cortez Police Officer in the line of duty. My thoughts and prayers are with their family, as well as the Cortez Police Department and the community during this time. This officer dedicated their career to serving and protecting their community," said Gov. Jared Polis in a statement.
Anyone with further information about this pending investigation, they are asked to contact the Cortez Police Department and the Montezuma County Sheriff's Office Dispatch at 970-565-8441.
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