Flags to fly at half-staff for CHP officer killed in shootout on Riverside freeway
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KTVU/AP) - Flags will fly at half-staff on Tuesday in the state Capitol in honor of the California Highway Patrol officer who was killed on a Riverside freeway.
"Our hearts ache over the tragic loss," Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted, expressing his condolences for Officer Andre Moye Jr., 33. He will be "remembered for his commitment to service and the community of Riverside County."
In an interview, the officer's stepmother, Debbie Howard, said: "He was so kind. You're not going to hear one bad word about him. He loved this job."
Moye was killed about 5:30 p.m. Monday, after he pulled over a man in a white GMC pickup for an unknown reason off the 215 freeway, and decided to impound his truck. The man opened fire, authorities said, killing Moye and wounding two other officers before police shot and killed him.
One of the CHP officers was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
The other officer was less critically injured.
Two civilians were injured by flying glass.
The shooter was identified by family as 49-year-old Aaron Luther of Beaumont, who was a felon and was legally not allowed to have a gun, his father told KABC-TV.
Shortly before he was killed, Moye had called for a tow truck. He was filling out paperwork when the bullets started flying, officials said.
The officer called for help and when three other CHP officers arrived, they were immediately faced with gunfire.
A Riverside police officer and three Riverside County sheriff's deputies also arrived and traded shots with the man before killing him at the scene, said Riverside Police Chief Sergio Diaz.
"It was a long and horrific gun battle," the chief said.
Police: CHP officer killed in Riverside shootout
Video showed the gunman, clad in black and wielding a military assault-style rifle, trading fire with officers and then retreating behind the front of his truck for cover, still trading shots.
Video after the shooting showed bullet holes in the front windows of two patrol cars and large holes blown in their back windows.
Jennifer Moctezuma, 31, of Moreno Valley told Fox 11 that she was driving home with her 6-year-old twins when a bullet flew through her front windshield. The bullet barely missed "my head and my two kids. I told my kids to get down and duck but they couldn't, their seatbelts were on," she said.
Charles Childress, 56, a retired Marine from Moreno Valley, was in the car behind her.
He led the family as they crawled to the bottom of a bridge to hide; none were harmed.
After the shooting, dozens of law enforcement officers gathered outside of the hospital in nearby Moreno Valley. Snipers were posted on the roof as a precaution.
Dozens lined up and saluted as the officer's flag-draped body was removed from the hospital and placed in a hearse. Motorcycle officers then led a procession as the hearse was driven to the county coroner's office.
Fox 11 and KTVU's Cristina Rendon and Lisa Fernandez contributed to this report.