Cortez Police Officer Homicide and Officer-Involved Shooting—Update

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 The following release provides additional details regarding the homicide and officer-involved shooting that occurred in Cortez on Wednesday, November, 29, 2023. 

It’s believed a male suspect was contacted on a traffic stop in the 800 block of S. Broadway in Cortez, after a dispatched report of a reckless driver at approximately 11:30 a.m. on November 29. The preliminary investigation indicates the male suspect, previously identified as Jason Campbell (DOB 07/08/1979), began firing shots at Cortez Police Department Sergeant Michael Moran almost immediately after the traffic stop was initiated.

Responding law enforcement and EMS personnel rendered life-saving measures to Sergeant Moran at the scene, but he later succumbed to his injuries.

The preliminary information also indicates Sergeant Moran was able to return fire, but Campbell and a subject passenger in his vehicle fled the scene after shooting Sergeant Moran. Campbell and his passenger were later contacted on private property at 7500 US Highway 160, where a member of the Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office and a  member of the Cortez Police Department engaged Campbell, resulting in the fatal officer-involved shooting of the suspect within minutes of the exchange at the scene of the initial traffic stop.

The evidence shows the suspect was armed with a handgun and discharged that handgun during the initial contact as well as the second contact.  No civilians were injured and no additional suspects are at large.

While multiple law enforcement agencies responded to the assist, the two responding members of the Cortez Police Department and Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office were the only law enforcement personnel involved in the shooting incident.  The agencies responding to assist in the response and subsequent investigation include: Cortez Police Department, Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office, Colorado State Patrol Durango Police Department, La Plata County Sheriff’s Office, Dolores County Sheriff’s Office, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

As part of this ongoing investigation, CBI agents are reviewing body-worn camera footage from the incident, conducting a number of interviews, canvassing the area, awaiting results from the autopsies, and conducting forensic testing.

The case information will be presented to District Attorney Christian Hatfield of the 22nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office at the conclusion of the investigation.  

Montezuma County Coroner George Deavers previously made official identification of the deceased, Campbell, who is believed to have previously resided in Ogden, Utah.

At the request of the Cortez Police Department and Montezuma County Sheriff's Office, the CBI is serving as the lead agency investigating a homicide and officer-involved shooting.

Updates will be provided as information becomes available.  There is no further information outside of this release.