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Remembering police officers who lost their lives on duty last year


The life of a police officer can change in a second when responding to a call.

In 2023 alone, there were 378 officers shot in the line of duty, according to a report from the National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP). 

In total, 46 police officers were killed last year, a 60% increase since 2018, according to the FOP.

These are eight stories of police officers who tragically lost their lives on duty last year.

Police hug each other

Police console each other at the memorial to fallen Charlotte-Mecklenberg Police Officer, Joshua Eyer to First Baptist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, Friday, May 3, 2024.  (The Image Direct for Fox News Digital)

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  1. Sergeant Michael Moran, Colorado
  2. Trooper Aaron Smith, Indiana
  3. Master Trooper James Bailey, Indiana 
  4. Officer Andres Vasquez-Lasso, Illinois
  5. Lieutenant Milton Resendez, Texas
  6. Sergeant Michael Abbate and Trooper Alberto Felix, Nevada
  7. Sergeant Cory Maynard, West Virginia
  8. Officer Garrett Crumby, Alabama

1. Sergeant Michael Moran, Colorado

In November 2023, Sgt. Michael Moran of the Cortez Police Department in Colorado was shot during a traffic stop, according to the Montezuma Sheriff’s Office. 

The suspect fled but was later tracked down by police, and gunfire was exchanged. Fox News Digital reported at the time that one suspect was killed in the shooting and another was taken into custody. 

After Moran was shot, he was rushed to Southwest Memorial Hospital, where he died from his injuries. 

Sgt. Michael Moran

Cortez Police Sgt. Michael Moran, 46, was killed in the line of duty when a suspect opened fire on him during a traffic stop. (Cortez Police Department)

Before joining the Cortez Police Department in 2012, Moran served in the Marines for nine years. 

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“As a new officer, Sgt. Moran rose quickly through the ranks, becoming a K-9 handler in 2016,” the Cortez Police Department said. “He was most proud of his canine partner Otto, who served by his side until retiring in 2020.”

2. Trooper Aaron Smith, Indiana

In June 2023, Indiana state trooper Aaron Smith died after being struck by a suspect driving a stolen vehicle. He was 33 years old. 

Smith exited his patrol car to deploy stop sticks during the pursuit of a stolen vehicle on Ronald Reagan Parkway at around 8:45 p.m. when he was struck, according to the Indiana State Police statement. 

He was taken to Eskenazi Hospital, where he died. He was with the police department for five years before his death. 

“This young trooper was the best of us. He was a shining star with the state police,” Superintendent Doug Carter said of Smith in June 2023. “He didn’t survive tonight. I am usually not without words, but I don’t know what else to say, besides the sadness continues to follow us. He was one of those guys who stood out.”

Aaron Smith

Trooper Aaron Smith was struck and killed after he attempted to stop a stolen vehicle by laying stop sticks June 28, 2023. (Indiana State Police)

“This is a tremendously sad day for the entire Indiana State Police family. We will band together as we always do in support of Trooper Smith’s family, friends and co-workers,” Carter said in the written statement, adding Smith is survived by a “young wife and a beautiful family.”

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3. Master Trooper James Bailey, Indiana

In March 2023, just a few months before Smith’s death, a similar situation occurred in Indiana. 

Master Trooper James Bailey was also hit by a suspect’s vehicle and his injuries led to his death. 

According to Indiana State Police Public Information Officer Brian Walker, Bailey was hit by a suspect’s car on Interstate 69 while helping other troopers with traffic from weather-related crashes. There was a pursuit headed his way. 

Walker put stop sticks down in an attempt to de-escalate the situation but was struck by the suspect’s vehicle. The driver, Terry Sands II, was taken into custody. 

“This is a tremendously sad day for the entire Indiana State Police family. We will band together as we always do in support of Trooper Bailey’s family, friends and co-workers”, Indiana State Police Superintendent Douglas Carter said.

4. Officer Andres Vasquez-Lasso, Illionis

Officer Andres Vasquez-Lasso, a Chicago police officer, was killed while he was chasing an armed teenage suspect who turned and fired at him “at close range” in Gage Park, according to FOX 32. The incident began with two police cars responding to a domestic-related call. 

Chicago police officer Andres Vasquez-Lasso's department portrait

Chicago Police Officer Andres Vasquez-Lasso was killed March 1, 2023. (Chicago Police Department)

Then-Police Superintendent David O. Brown told reporters at the time that the caller said the suspect was chasing a female with a gun. 

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When the officers arrived, one knocked on the door, while another engaged with the armed suspect, reported to be an 18-year-old with a prior criminal violation. 

The suspect was shot in the head and taken to a hospital, Fox News Digital reported. Vasquez-Lasso was shot multiple times and was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he died of his injuries. 

“Vasquez-Lasso had been on the force for five years, and Brown said he had a very bright future ahead of him. Brown also noted that the officer comes from a family of public servants,” FOX 32 stated.

5. Lieutenant Milton Resendez, Texas

In October 2023, Lt. Milton Resendez was shot while he was pursuing two individuals who left a traffic stop, swapped vehicles and were driving through several cities along the southern border, Fox News Digital reported. The suspects were arrested hours later. 

Chief Mario Pera of the San Benito Police Department in Texas told reporters Resendez was struck in the abdomen by a bullet that went through the door of his patrol car and hit below his body armor. 

Lt. Milton Resendez

This undated photo provided by the San Benito Police Department shows San Benito Lt. Milton Resendez, who was fatally shot Oct. 18, 2023, in San Benito, Texas, after joining an hours-long pursuit of two men who fled a traffic stop. (San Benito Police Department via AP)

He was pronounced dead at a local hospital. 

Cameron County District Attorney Luis Saenz said at the time that 18-year-old Rogelio Martinez Jr. of Brownsville and 23-year-old Rodrigo Axel Espinoza Valdez of Mexico both face multiple charges, including capital murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and evading arrest.

6. Sergeant Michael Abbate and Trooper Alberto Felix, Nevada

Sgt. Michael Abbate and Trooper Alberto Felix were killed by a drunk driver on a Las Vegas freeway in December 2023. 

The two were stopped to check on a driver who seemed to be sleeping in his car, according to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. 

Shortly after the troopers stopped, they were hit by the car. The driver quickly fled. 

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One of the men died at the scene and the other died at UMC Trauma Hospital, Fox News Digital reported. 

The car was found about five hours later, and 46-year-old Jemarcus Williams was arrested on two counts of each charge: reckless driving resulting in death, driving under the influence resulting in death and duty to stop at the scene of an accident involving death, according to Fox News Digital. 

7. Sergeant Cory Maynard, West Virginia

Sgt. Cory Maynard of the West Virginia State Police was killed in June 2023 after responding to a complaint about a shooting. 

When Maynard and two other officers arrived, Timothy Kennedy allegedly began to fire a weapon. Maynard was shot and taken to the hospital, where he died. 

Kennedy, who fled after the incident, was caught and charged with first-degree murder. 

West Virginia police

This undated photo provided by West Virginia State Police shows State Police Sgt. Cory Maynard. Maynard was fatally shot June 2, 2023. (Courtesy of West Virginia State Police via AP)

“The brave men and women of law enforcement and all first responders who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe are an inspiration to us all,” Republican Gov. Jim Justice said at the time of the incident. “I again ask all West Virginians to join Cathy and I in embracing Trooper Maynard’s family, loved ones and all of our courageous West Virginians in uniform during this incredibly difficult time.”

8. Officer Garrett Crumby, Alabama

In March 2023, an Alabama officer was killed and another was injured while responding to a domestic violence call. 

The Huntsville Police Department said officers arrived at the scene around 4:45 p.m. and quickly located a woman who had been shot. 

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State Attorney General Steve Marshall said officers Garrett Crumby and Albert Morin were helping the woman and two small children when an armed man ambushed them and then barricaded himself in an apartment.

Both officers were taken to Huntsville Hospital, where Crumbly died. Marshall said Crumbly was a three-year veteran of the department. He had also served with the Tuscaloosa Police Department for eight years. 

“Our part of the country has been reminded again this week of the pure heroism of those who make up the thin blue line — the dividing line, at times, between life and death for the citizens that they swear an oath to protect,” Marshall said at the time. “These two law enforcement officers responded to a domestic violence call this evening, knowing full well that they would be placing their lives on the line in defense of their fellow man. We must never take their service and sacrifice for granted.”

The suspect was booked for capital murder of a law enforcement officer.



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