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State Attorney: Use of force justified in officer-involved shooting

By Staff | Jun 21, 2017

Four Cape Coral police officers involved in a shooting that left a suspect dead and a woman and child injured were “justifiable in their use of force,” an investigation by the State Attorney’s Office has concluded.

“Based upon investigative reports provided, and the applicable law, I am convinced the actions of the officers involved in this incident were a legally justified use of deadly force, in the defense of themselves or others. Therefore, my office will not be filing criminal charges,” State Attorney Stephen B. Russell wrote in a letter to Cape Coral Police Chief David Newlan Wednesday.

“The totality of the evidence supports the conclusion that officers were justified in the use of deadly force,” the attached legal determination states.

Officers Andrew Miller, John DiGiovanni, Christopher Gugliotta and Robert Reese discharged their weapons after locating Christopher Moran on Skyline Boulevard on June 5, 2016.

Moran, suspected of shooting and killing two people at different locations and injuring a third, had his girlfriend and their baby in the car when officers spotted his vehicle after the second shooting at a Circle K on Cape Coral Parkway. A clerk had been shotgunned “point-blank in the face” after the shooter’s debit card was declined. The gunman then unsuccessfully tried to shoot a second clerk before racking the gun again and shooting a customer on his way out of the store. A wallet left behind contained Moran’s Florida Identification card.

A motorcyclist had been shot to death at Skyline Boulevard and Southwest 26th Street just 44 minutes earlier. A shotgun was used.

Police were told the gunman was driving a red Mazda in both incidents.

The officer-involved shooting happened five minutes later after police spotted a red Mazda matching the description of the shooter’s vehicle a mile away in a driveway on Skyline Boulevard.

Moran was shot dead in the car as it began to back up toward officers and then pull forward in “an apparent attempt to flee.” Moran was struck multiple times with the cause of death being a gunshot wound to the head and neck. His autopsy showed multiple drugs in his system including amphetamines; cocaine metabolites; buprenorphine, a medication used to treat opioid addiction and propranolol, used to treat a variety of medical conditions, including anxiety. Investigation of the two shooting incidents concluded Moran was the shooter in each.

Moran’s girlfriend and their 13-month-old son were injured and have recovered. Each had suffered three gunshot wounds.

The woman told police Moran, who she said had been having delusions, had forced her and the baby into the vehicle at gunpoint.

The matter is now being reviewed administratively by the Professional Standards Bureau of the Cape Coral Police Department.