MORENO VALLEY (CBSLA) — The scene outside the Riverside University Health System Medical Center was somber and emotional as the body of slain California Highway Patrol Officer Andre Moye was brought out.
As the flag-draped casket was carried out, police officers lined up along the entrance to the hospital. Officers from different agencies across the Inland Empire stood watch and saluted Moye as his body was carried to the coroner's office in Perris.
Officer Andre Moye, Jr. was killed Monday night during a traffic stop on an overpass over the 215 Freeway in Riverside. During the subsequent shootout, two officers responding to Moye's call for backup were also hit by gunfire. One of the unidentified officers was shot in the leg and critically wounded. The second was wounded with less serious injuries. Both are expected to survive.
At the hospital Monday night, officers remained alert despite the somber atmosphere. There were several officers in tactical gear, some in helmets with rifles drawn, others positioned on rooftops, due to a heightened alert status at the hospital in the wake of three officers having just been shot, according to the CHP. The hospital diverted patients to other trauma centers for several hours. Riverside University Health System Medical Center confirmed Tuesday morning that they have stopped diverting patients.
The suspect was identified Tuesday as Aaron Luther, 49. Luther was also killed in the shootout. Police say he had an lengthy criminal history that included attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon.
Monday was a tough and emotional day for Southern California law enforcement. Moye's death in the line of duty was just hours after the funeral of an LAPD officer who was off-duty when he was allegedly killed by a gang member after confronting him for tagging.
Family members who came to the hospital say Moye used to be an electrician, but had dreamed of being a CHP officer since he was a kid. He had just graduated from the CHP Academy in 2017, and his family says he was happier than he had ever been.
Deborah Howard, who said she was Moye's stepmother, said she was frantic after hearing a CHP officer had been shot and killed.
"I'm texting Junior like, 'Junior, you OK? I'm worried about you, give me a call,'" Howard said tearfully. "Next thing I know, I called his dad, and I said, 'Hey, there's a shootout going and there's a CHP officer on a bike,' and his dad said, 'it was him.' It was unbelievable."
She described him as the nicest person with unending patience.
Moye, who grew up in the Inland Empire, volunteered frequently to do events with the community. Officer Ramon Duran said Moye most recently volunteered to be part of the Fourth of July parade in Jurupa. Duran said Moye told him he loved to put smiles on people's faces.
Moye is survived by his wife, parents and siblings.
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