Police detail shooting that left officer dead in southwest Colorado
CORTEZ, Colo. — Police in southwestern Colorado released new details regarding a shooting during a traffic stop that left an officer dead Wednesday.
Sgt. Michael Moran – a U.S. Marine veteran with more than a decade of experience with the Cortez Police Department – was killed during what appears to be a routine traffic stop.
On Thursday, the Cortez police chief revealed that Moran pulled over a vehicle on the edge of town for reckless driving. 44-year-old Jason Campbell was inside that vehicle, and reportedly shot Moran before driving off.
The Montezuma County Sheriff says it only took a few minutes for deputies and officers to find that vehicle down the road. He says there was a shootout and officials confirmed the suspect who shot Sgt. Moran was killed.
“We do not have any suspects to look for, the community is safe, and this is what our priority was,” Sheriff Steve Nowlin said.
Police leaders revealed there was a second person in the vehicle, who took off running during the shootout.
Officials say they were detained for questioning, but are not a suspect.
It’s still not clear how many shots were fired, or if the suspect had a criminal history.
Police leaders say they are focused on Moran’s family, including his two young daughters – and the officers who lost one of their own.
“I assure you the investigation, although third on our priority list, is still very high, however, Officer Moran’s family and my agency are my top priority at this point,” Chief Vernon Knuckles said.
This was the first time in 25 years a Cortez officer was killed in the line of duty.
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis released the following statement on Moran:
“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.”
If anyone has information on this incident, they are asked to contact the Cortez Police Department and the Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch at 970-565-8441.