Officer-Involved Shooting with Hoax Bomb in Summer Valley Neighborhood 

(July 13) On Monday July 12th, 2021 at approximately 1:16 p.m., the Aurora Police Department Crisis Response Team (CRT) responded to 4283 South Salida Way after being alerted by community members an adult male there may benefit from mental health crisis resources. 

 The responding CRT consisted of one Aurora police officer, and one clinician from the Aurora Mental Health Center.  The subject contacted, later identified as Jeffrey Moralez DOB 3/3/1979, refused any contact or assistance from CRT.

 Later in the day at approximately 7:11 p.m., Aurora Public Safety Communications received two calls for police service from community members. Both callers reported Mr. Moralez had a firearm on his hip outside near 4283 South Salida Way and was being disruptive. Upon officer’s arrival they observed the male and determined he was not engaged in criminal activity at that time and contact was not initiated.

 At 8:41 p.m. Aurora police officers responded back to 4283 South Salida Way to investigate an allegation that Mr. Moralez was harassing two people. This contact with Mr. Moralez led to an Aurora Police SWAT response at 9:05 p.m. after he pointed a rifle at an officer. It was at this point Mr. Moralez was now being investigated for Felony Menacing charges. The Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad and SWAT as well as the Douglas County SWAT responded to the scene with additional resources to provide assistance.

 At 9:11 p.m. the first of four subsequent CodeRED emergency alerts, commonly referred to as Reverse 911 calls, were sent to residents in the area advising to shelter-in-place. If you would like to receive CodeRED alerts please visit Community Notification Enrollment (coderedweb.com) to register.

 After several hours of officers attempting to gain a peaceful surrender through various de-escalation techniques, negotiations, and less lethal options, Mr. Moralez began firing numerous rounds at the SWAT members inside the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office SWAT BearCat vehicle at 3:58 a.m. Multiple bullets struck the body and windshield of the BearCat causing significant damage to the windshield. During the time Mr. Moralez was shooting at officers, two Aurora police officers returned fire. Mr. Moralez was not struck by bullets fired by Aurora police officers but did receive shrapnel wounds.

 Finally, at approximately 4:40 a.m. Mr. Moralez surrendered allowing him to be taken into custody. Officers then checked the residence for additional threats and discovered what was later deemed to be a “hoax bomb”.  A hoax bomb is a device made to look real but is in fact not real. Mr. Moralez was transported to an area hospital to be treated for his injuries and that is where he remains as this time.

 The two Aurora police officers involved in the officer-involved shooting have been placed on administrative leave with pay per departmental policy. The Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) for the 18th Judicial District responded and will be investigating this officer involved shooting incident.  The CIRT Team for the 18th Judicial District conducts independent, multi-agency investigations into officer-involved shootings and in-custody deaths that occur in Arapahoe and Douglas County. As part of Police Chief Vanessa Wilson's "A New Way" Plan to rebuild trust with the community, the Aurora Police Department joined the CIRT Teams for both the 17th and 18th Judicial Districts in April of this year. 

 We would like to express our sincere gratitude to the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office SWAT and Bomb Squad, Douglas County SWAT, Aurora Fire Rescue and Falck Rocky Mountain for their assistance in this incident.

 “Aurora police patrol, hostage negotiators, K-9 Unit and SWAT officers faced a very serious threat today for an extended period of time. Their professional and heroic actions likely spared our community from a greater tragedy. There’s not a doubt in my mind their actions saved lives today and prevented further damage. As always, we encourage anyone struggling with a crisis, to please reach out for help by calling our CRT or Colorado Crisis Services at 844-493-TALK (8255)” -Chief Wilson

Officer Crystal McCoy
Public Information Officer
Media Relations Unit
720.432.5095

Image of Jeffrey Moralez
JeffreyM

Images from Twitter @AuroraPD
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Posted by ckmccoy@auroragov.org On 13 July, 2021 at 4:06 PM