Officer shot and killed in routine stop

CORTEZ, CO – Tragedy struck in Colorado on Wednesday when a police officer and a suspect were killed during a traffic stop, according to law enforcement officials.

Sgt. Michael Moran, a 46-year-old officer with the Cortez Police Department, stopped a vehicle on South Broadway just before 11:30 a.m. when he came under fire. The Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office reported that Moran was critically wounded and later died at Southwest Memorial Hospital.

The suspects evaded the scene in their vehicle, leading to a police chase. They were cornered in the 7500 block of Hwy 160-491, where a second round of gunfire was exchanged.

One suspect was killed during the encounter, and another was taken into custody. No other officers were reported injured in the incident. The police have yet to release any further details about the suspects.

Prior to his police career, Moran was a U.S. Marine for nine years, serving two tours in Iraq. He joined the Cortez Police Department in 2012 and quickly rose through the ranks, becoming a K-9 handler in 2016. His K-9 partner, Otto, retired in 2020.

Moran is survived by his two daughters, friends, and family. His colleagues at the police department remember him fondly for his commitment to service and his sense of humor.