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Officers involved in shooting on administrative duty

By Staff | Jun 22, 2016

Four Cape Coral police officers who were involved in the takedown of a gunman earlier this month after he shot and killed two people have been placed on administrative duty.

Cape police confirmed on Monday that the officers were involved in the high-risk traffic stop and subsequent violent encounter that resulted in the death of the shooter, Christopher Michael Moran, 31, of 901 S.E. Eighth Terrace, Apt. 6. None of the involved officers were injured in the confrontation.

“We are happy to report that the officers are doing well,” CCPD Sgt. Dana Coston said. “All four are currently on administrative duty, which is standard procedure in officer-involved shootings.”

He explained that following such incidents, officers do not immediately return to work.

“We always have officers go through a critical incident stress debriefing with the department’s psychologists,” Coston said on Tuesday.

Once the criminal investigations are concluded, the Professional Standards Bureau will conduct its administrative review of the shooting. It is also standard procedure in officer-involved shootings.

Officers typically remain on administrative duty until the review in complete.

“It can vary,” he said, noting that the CCPD tries to get officers back in the field as soon as possible.

The Cape Coral Police Department’s Professional Standards Bureau has up to 180 days from the conclusion of the criminal investigations to complete its administrative review of the shooting.

“The investigation is ongoing,” Coston said.

At 5:44 p.m. June 5, Cape Coral police responded to a shooting in the 2600 block of Skyline Boulevard. Officers arrived on scene to find that Moran had fatally shot a motorcyclist, Jeremy Charles Taylor, 54, of 3720 S.W. 11th Place. According to a police report, Moran had used a shotgun.

At 6:28 p.m., police responded to another shooting at the Circle K, at 1603 W. Cape Coral Parkway. Arriving officers discovered that Moran had fatally shot a second person, Sean Strickland, 26, also of Cape Coral. Strickland was an employee of the store and a shotgun was again used, the report states.

A store customer, Richard Huwiler, 61, of the Cape, sustained gunshot wounds but survived.

Four minutes later, police located Moran at Skyline and Cape Coral Parkway, stopping his vehicle in the 5100 block of Skyline. Officials reported that Moran was “still armed and violently resisting.”

He was shot by police and pronounced dead at the scene.

Two passengers in his vehicle – Maria Abigail Rodriguez, 32, and Christopher Moran Jr., 1, both also of 901 S.E. Eighth Terrace, Apt. 6 – each sustained injuries and were transported to a local hospital.

Both have since been treated and released from the hospital, according to police.

The Florida Department of Children and Families has opened a child protection investigation.

Natalie Harrell, SunCoast Region communications director for DCF, reported last week that Christopher Moran Jr. remains in agency custody and he is in the care of a foster family.

Officials confirmed Tuesday that the status quo remains.

“An investigation typically closes in 90 days,” Harrell stated last week.

In cases where the investigation opens to case management – as part of foster care – it may close within that 90-day timeframe, but the case would still be open under case management, she explained. The case would then reviewed by a judge under specific timeframes and guidelines set by the judge.

Harrell previously confirmed that DCF had prior contact with Moran’s family and that a child protection investigation was opened in 2015. The findings, however, cannot be disclosed.

According to officials, child protection investigations, including allegations, details and reports, are confidential by law and cannot be disclosed, unless the child dies as a result of abuse or neglect.

Neither Rodriguez, nor any family members, could be reached for comment on Tuesday.