INDUSTRY, Pa. (KDKA) - An officer originally from Beaver County is being remembered as a hero and a man dedicated to protecting the public.
"Any serviceman or anyone that's killed in the line of duty that sacrifice should not go unnoticed. He was always engaged and was friendly, kind, thoughtful."
Sergeant Michael Moran, a police officer in Cortez, Colo.,this week.
KDKA-TV's Ross Guidotti spoke to those who knew Moran as a young man growing up in Industry.
Sgt. Moran lost his life in the line of duty in Colorado but started his life here in Industry, Pa. The people who knew him say they're devastated over his loss but are also proud of the man he became.
Michael Moran's earlier days were spent running around Industry, Beaver County, and while he was quiet and reserved, he had his share of friends.
"He was a good boy. We had conversations he wouldn't have had with other people," said Wendy Robison, a friend of Moran's.
Robison grew up in the same neighborhood as Moran and knew him as a student at Western Beaver High School, where she works as a school nurse.
"He always had potential."
Moran wasn't much for the classroom but would find his way in the Marines.
"He talked about that specifically; that was his goal. It doesn't surprise me that he did that."
After surviving two combat tours in Iraq, Moran spoke to his old friend and now New Brighton Police Chief Ronald Walton, telling him he was going to Colorado and the Cortez City Police Department.
Moran quickly moved up the ranks, becoming a sergeant and K-9 handler in Cortez, before losing his life Wednesday during a traffic stop. The man accused of killing Sgt. Moran would later die from gunshots after engaging other officers afterward.
"This tragedy hit close to home, literally," Chief Walton added.
Tonight in Industry, those who know about what happened are feeling, in a way, empty.
"My heart breaks for his father and two daughters," Chief Walton said.
"For him to have achieved what he did, his memory cannot be forgotten," Robison said.
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