Fort Collins, CO – A Fort Collins police officer ran towards gunfire to save a hostage from an enraged gunman in January, bodycam footage showed (video below).
The gunman, later identified as 36-year-old Joshua Moore, died at the scene.
“I’m grateful for [Officer Keith Hunter’s] rapid response to this dangerous situation,” Fort Collins Police Chief Jeffrey Swoboda said in the video news release.
“I’m also extremely proud of the compassion and professionalism he showed while ensuring the victim’s safety,” Chief Swoboda added. “Not only did he run toward danger, he also demonstrated great care and composure immediately following a traumatic incident.”
The fatal altercation occurred on Jan. 12, after Moore and his estranged wife, Roberta Rivera-Moore, got into an argument over the phone, Larimer County District Attorney Cliff Riedel said in a letter to Chief Swoboda on Wednesday.
The couple had been married for approximately two years, but hand not been living together for about six months prior to the altercation, according to Riedel.
She and her family ultimately left the residence, and returned later to discover that Moore had damaged the interior of the home with a sledgehammer.
Moore was not at the residence when Rivera-Moore returned with her children and friends, but he came back just before 10 p.m. and began shooting at the house.
"There is evidence to suggest that Mr. Moore was, in fact, lying in wait for Ms. Rivera-Moore to return to the residence,” Riedel said.
Fort Collins 911 received seven calls reporting that there was an active shooter in the 2600-block of Bradbury Court, according to the FCPD.
Moore than began forcing his way into the house, at which point the women and children inside managed to escape.
“Ms. Rivera-Moore stated that her children and friends got into a Jeep and fled to the west; however, she ran to the east…in an attempt to draw Mr. Moore away from her children and friends,” Riedel explained.
Officer Hunter arrived at the scene, and saw Moore chasing the female victim down the street, bodycam footage showed.
He ordered the gunman to stop, but Moore grabbed Rivera-Moore, then began firing his weapon.
Officer Hunter fired four rounds at Moore, hitting him all four times in the lower extremities, Chief Swoboda said.
Moore collapsed to the ground and remained still, while his estranged wife began wailing.
Officer Hunter raced to her to ensure she was not physically injured, as at least five other screaming people rushed towards the scene.
Some appeared to be children.
A .45-caliber Glock handgun was found lying beneath Moore’s chin, Riedel said.
Investigators later learned that the weapon was stolen during a 2017 burglary at a Cabela’s store in Thornton, Colorado.
The autopsy and field investigation revealed that Moore fatally shot himself in the right side of his head as he fell to the ground, Riedel said.
His death was ruled a suicide by the Larimer County Coroner’s Office.
Rivera-Moore was not injured during the attack, but one person suffered minor injuries when one of the rounds Moore fired struck a mirror inside the residence, according to police.
On Wednesday, Riedel announced that Officer Hunter’s use of deadly force was justified.
“Based upon the totality of the evidence, I find that Mr. Joshua Moore committed the only criminal offenses during this incident,” Riedel said.
“Officer Hunter placed his life at risk by running towards an armed man who was assaulting and, most likely, attempting to murder a fleeing female,” he continued. “But for the selfless action of Officer Hunter, it is reasonable to believe that Mr. Joshua Moore would have killed Ms. Rivera-Moore.”
“Officer Hunter’s actions were legally justifiable and, by any measure, commendable,” Riedel concluded.
Had he survived, Moore would have faced felony charges, including possession of a weapon by a previous offender, illegal discharge of a weapon, menacing with a deadly weapon, criminal mischief, first-degree burglary, and attempted first-degree murder.
He also would have been subject to habitual criminal designation and penalty, due to his prior history.
You can watch bodycam footage of Officer Hunter’s encounter with Moore in the video below: