Chilling video emerged late Tuesday morning of a deadly shootout between a suspect and California Highway Patrol officers that left a cop and the gunman dead.
The gun battle took place at around 5.30pm on a freeway in Riverside after officials say 49-year-old Aaron Luther was pulled over and had his pickup truck impounded.
Luther, a former convict, was shot dead by police after pulling a rifle from his vehicle and opening fire on officers. California Highway Patrol officer Andre Moye, 33, was mortally wounded in the armed confrontation and two of his colleagues were hurt, one of them critically.
Footage shot at the scene by OC Hawk, a local news videography company, shows one of the injured officers laying motionless on the ground while his uniformed colleagues exchanging fire with the shooter from behind police vehicles.
The wounded officer is then seen being dragged by his wrists to safety while being protected by his heavily armed comrades in tactical vest.
The is the shocking moment an injured cop is dragged to safety by fellow officers during a ‘horrific gun battle’ with an ex-con on a California freeway
This screenshot from the video shows one of three California Highway Patrol cops wounded in the shootout being dragged to safety
California Highway Patrol officer Andre Moye, 33 (left) was shot and killed during a gun battle with a suspect identified by his father as Aaron Luther, 49 (right)
Moments later, a patrol vehicle pulls over and the wounded cop, who appears to be alert and conscious, is quickly loaded into the backseat. He is heard groaning and crying out in pain in the video.
The patrol vehicle then makes a U-turn and speeds off with its siren blaring.
The second part of the video shows two bodies on the ground, believed to be those of the shooter and the mortally wounded officer Moye.
The man thought to be the gunman, Aaron Luther, is seen stretched out on his back next to his white GMC pickup truck.
From from OC Hawk shows officers engaged in a gun battle with the suspect in Riverside, California, on Monday evening
In the video, gunshots are heard going off during the gun battle on a freeway
The wounded cop is heard in the recording groaning and crying out in pain while being placed in the backseat of a patrol car en route to a hospital
This screenshot shows the suspected gunman laying motionless next to his white pickup truck (left) and Officer Moye laying facedown next to his CHP motorcycle
Moye does not appear to move while being examined by his uniformed colleagues
Moye, still wearing his bike helmet, was carried to an awaiting police helicopter and airlifted to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead
Just a few feet away, the officer believed to be Moye, still clad in his motorcycle helmet, lays face down on the side of the road next to his CHP bike.
The recording shows officers surrounding their dying colleague and carrying him to an awaiting police helicopter.
Moye was airlifted to the Riverside University Health System Medical Center, where he succumbed to his wounds.
Once the aircraft took off on its way to the hospital, police turned their attention to the gunman on the ground. Luther was pronounced dead on the scene.
His father has revealed that the 49-year-old man had been depressed, and having marital and health problems.
Officers are pictured on the scene of the deadline shooting, with the suspect’s blood-stained white GMC pickup truck seen in the background
An officer kneels besides the body of Luther, the suspected shooter, after he was killed in the gun battle
Dennis Luther said his son had served 10 years in prison on an attempted murder conviction, but he was getting his life back on track since his release more than a decade ago.
But authorities say on Monday, Aaron Luther grabbed a rifle and opened fire on California Highway Patrol officer Andre Moye, 33, killing him, after having his truck impounded during a traffic stop in Riverside.
Luther also allegedly wounded two other officers, one of them critically, before being fatally shot.
Two civilians on the scene sustained minor injuries during the gun battle on the freeway.
Dennis Luther, the accused gunman’s father
Luther’s father told KABC-TV that in recent months, Aaron seemed depressed. He had been afflicted with pain in his knees and having difficulties with his wife, McKenzie.
The dad added that his son had two children and a stepchild to whom he was devoted.
‘He lived for his kids,’ Dennis Luther said. ‘That’s what motivated him [in life.] I don’t know what overcame him. I wish I did know.’
The elder Luther, who watched the shootout and its aftermath on TV, said his son had called his wife to pick him up after his truck was impounded.
However, when Luther’s wife arrived, she heard shots and narrowly dodged the hail of bullets.
‘It’s hard,’ he said. ‘I love him. And I’m sorry for the policeman. I’m devastated. I just can’t believe it.’
Dennis Luther said he did not know why his son had the rifle in his truck.
Aaron Luther, who lived in Beaumont with his wife and children, opened fire shortly after officer Moye pulled over his white GMC pickup truck off the 215 freeway in Riverside at around 5.30pm on Monday.
According to reports, Moye called for a tow truck in the area of Box Springs Boulevard and Eastridge Avenue and was filling out paperwork when the gunman suddenly pulled a rifle from the truck and began shooting.
Police rush to the scene (Riverside City Deputy Chief of Police Jeffrey Greer pictured) following the shootout
Officer Moye is survived by his wife, Sara (pictured left and right). He had been on the force since March 2017
The gunman traded fire with officer Moye, three other CHP officers, a Riverside police officer and three Riverside County sheriff’s deputies before crouching behind the front of his truck for cover.
The shooter, who was reportedly seen clad in black and wielding a military assault-style rifle, was eventually shot and killed by officers at the scene.
Riverside Police Chief Sergio Diaz described the shootout as a ‘long and horrific gun battle.’
Scott Parker, assistant chief at the CHP’s Inland Division, said of Luther: ‘He called for a tow truck and was filling out the necessary paperwork when the driver pulled a rifle from the truck and opened fire.
‘The officer called for help and three other CHP officers arrived, who immediately faced gunfire and two were hit.’
Following the shooting, images showed bullet holes in the front windows of two patrol cars and large holes blown in their back windows.
The hood of the suspect’s white GMC pickup truck was smeared with what appeared to be blood.
Officer Parker said the the other two officers had been left wounded, with one in critical condition.
Law enforcement officers rush to the scene after a man opened fire at police after a traffic stop
The gunman opened fire as his pickup truck was being impounded but his motive is not known (freeway pictured)
Following the fatal incident, Debbie Howard, a family member of officer Moye, told NBC Los Angeles: ‘I’ve been knowing him since he was a baby. I don’t understand. I just don’t understand.’
Howard added that being a CHP officer was Moye’s dream job.
Moye graduated from the CHP Academy in March 2017 and was assigned to the Riverside Area Office. He is survived by his wife, Sara, his parents and siblings.
Flags on the California State Capitol in Sacramento will be flown at half-staff in Moye’s honor.
CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley confirmed the identity of the officer and said ‘tonight, I mourn the loss of one of our own’.
Taking to Twitter on Tuesday, Mr Stanley wrote: ‘I am devastated by the tragedy that unfolded earlier in Riverside. Tonight, I mourn the loss of one of our own, CHP Officer Andre Moye, who was killed during a shootout following a traffic stop.
‘Prayers go out to all, including the responding officers injured in the shooting.’
California Governor Gavin Newsom tweeted: ‘Our hearts ache over the tragic loss of @CHP_HQ ‘s own Officer Andre Moye — who will be remembered for his commitment to service and the community of Riverside County.
‘Jen and I extend our deepest condolences to his family, friends, and fellow officers who are grieving tonight.’
Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco (right) and Riverside City Police Chief Sergio G. Diaz (center) arrive at the scene following the fatal shootout
California Highway Patrol officers wait outside the emergency room at Riverside Municipal Medical Center after the officer is shot dead
Local residents stand near the shootout crime scene following the death of the CHP officer
A mother and her two children stand near the scene of the crime as authorities continue their investigations
Police earlier had said at least one civilian had been slightly injured by flying glass during the attack.
Officer Parker said two civilians received superficial injuries and ‘they’re going to be OK.’
Jennifer Moctezuma, 31, of Moreno Valley told the Los Angeles Times that she was driving home with her 6-year-old twins when a bullet flew through her front windshield.
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 and none were harmed, the Times reported.
Following the fatal incident CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley confirmed the identity of the officer
California Governor Gavin Newson took to Twitter on Tuesday to express his sadness at the fatal incident
Authorities did not immediately say what prompted the officer to stop and impound the truck and investigators did not immediately know where the gunman came from or where he was headed.
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