Police Officer George Valentino Cortez Jr.

End of Watch: Friday, July 27, 2007
Age: 23
Tour of Duty: 4 years
Badge Number: 8232

Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: Friday, July 27, 2007
Weapon Used: Gun; Unknown type
Suspect Info: Sentenced to death

Officer George Cortez was shot and killed after responding to a check-cashing store to investigate reports of a forgery-in-progress.

At approximately 8:30 pm, Officer Cortez responded to a call that a man and woman were passing forged checks at a check-cashing business on 83rd Avenue, near Encanto Boulevard. Officer Cortez entered the business and was placing the male suspect in handcuffs when he drew a gun and shot Officer Cortez twice in the head.

Officer Cortez was rushed to St. Joseph’s Hospital where he died from his injuries.

The suspects fled the scene, but were apprehended the next day. They were charged with capital first-degree murder, burglary and forgery. The male subject was convicted of murder and was sentenced to death on October 19, 2010.

Officer Cortez had served with the Phoenix Police Department for two years and as a detention officer with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department for two years. He is survived by his wife, two sons, and parents.