Log In

Reset Password

Cortez police officer returned fire during fatal traffic stop

Colorado Bureau of Investigation said suspect fired shots ‘almost immediately’
Cortez Police Sgt. Michael Moran was shot and killed Nov. 29 during a traffic stop in the 800 block of South Broadway. The suspect began firing on Moran almost immediately, and Moran was able to return fire, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

The man who shot and killed a Cortez police officer during a roadside stop last week in southwest Cortez began firing shots “almost immediately” after being pulled over on suspicion of reckless driving, according to a news release issued Friday by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

Cortez Police Sgt. Michael Moran returned fire, but it didn’t stop the suspect from fleeing the scene, according to the release.

The news release contained few new details.

The CBI did not release a possible motive for the shooting. It also declined to say how many shots were fired, how many times Moran was shot or whether the suspect was hit by Moran’s return fire.

The shooting occurred about 11:25 a.m. Nov. 29 in the 800 block of South Broadway in southwest Cortez. Dispatchers aired a report of reckless driving, and Moran was attempting to initiate a traffic stop in connection with that report, according to the CBI.

The suspect, Jason Campbell, 44, and his passenger were later located about 1½ miles south of the traffic stop, where a deputy with the Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office and an officer with the Cortez Police Department engaged Campbell in a shootout.

Campbell was killed by gunfire from law enforcement, according to the CBI release.

The CBI said Campbell was armed with a handgun at the time of the traffic stop. He used that gun during the traffic stop and the shootout with law enforcement.

No other law enforcement agencies were involved in the shootings.

The passenger in Campbell’s vehicle, who has not been identified, was briefly detained and released. No suspects remain at large.

CBI agents are reviewing body-worn camera footage, conducting interviews, canvassing the area, awaiting results from autopsies and conducting forensic testing.

The CBI has not indicated whether it suspects any procedural or legal breach on the part of law enforcement during the shooting events. The agency said once the investigation is concluded, information will be presented to the 22nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office, which makes decisions about whether to file criminal charges.


Reader Comments