Police Officer George Valentino Cortez, Jr.

Police Officer George Valentino Cortez, Jr.

Phoenix Police Department, Arizona

End of Watch Friday, July 27, 2007

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George Valentino Cortez, Jr.

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

At approximately 5:30 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 the man drew a stolen Glock .40 and shot Officer Cortez twice in the head and once in the shoulder.

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.


  • Age 23
  • Tour 4 years
  • Badge 8232

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .40 caliber
  • Offender Sentenced to death


Most Recent Reflection

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I remember the incident clearly. Your sons are likely near grown, or adults as I write this. You, Officer Cortez, will be long remembered for your service, and your wife and sons will remember you as a man of honor, who died honorably in the line of duty. But what of your assailant? Who would honor him or even remember his name. He is long forgotten.

Stan Jefferson
Citizen of Arizona

July 27, 2018

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