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CrimeEx-con who shot dead a cop and injured two others in 'horrific gun battle' when he was pulled over on a California highway was depressed and having marital problems, says his father

17:45  13 august  2019
17:45  13 august  2019 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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The father of a gunman who opened fire on California Highway Patrol officers, killing one and wounding two others during a traffic stop on Monday night, has revealed that his son had been depressed, and having marital and health problems.

Dennis Luther said his son, 49-year-old Aaron Luther, 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.

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.

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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 a freeway.

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Ex-con who shot dead a cop and injured two others in 'horrific gun battle' when he was pulled over on a California highway was depressed and having marital problems, says his father
Ex-con who shot dead a cop and injured two others in 'horrific gun battle' when he was pulled over on a California highway was depressed and having marital problems, says his father
Ex-con who shot dead a cop and injured two others in 'horrific gun battle' when he was pulled over on a California highway was depressed and having marital problems, says his father
Ex-con who shot dead a cop and injured two others in 'horrific gun battle' when he was pulled over on a California highway was depressed and having marital problems, says his 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.

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The dad added that his son had two children and a stepchild to whom he was devoted.

Ex-con who shot dead a cop and injured two others in 'horrific gun battle' when he was pulled over on a California highway was depressed and having marital problems, says his father© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Dennis Luther, the accused gunman's father

'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.

1 CHP officer dead, two other officers injured in wild shootout near 215 Freeway

1 CHP officer dead, two other officers injured in wild shootout near 215 Freeway LOS ANGELES - A California Highway Patrol officer was killed and two other officers were wounded in a wild shootout Monday evening off the 215 Freeway in Riverside County that left the gunman dead and motorists dodging bullets. The conditions of the other two officers were unknown, according to the Riverside Police Department. The suspect was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. According to initial reports from law enforcement at the scene, a CHP motorcycle officer stopped a driver for an offense. The driver then is thought to have grabbed a rifle from inside the car and opened fire on the officer.

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.

Ex-con who shot dead a cop and injured two others in 'horrific gun battle' when he was pulled over on a California highway was depressed and having marital problems, says his father
Ex-con who shot dead a cop and injured two others in 'horrific gun battle' when he was pulled over on a California highway was depressed and having marital problems, says his father
Ex-con who shot dead a cop and injured two others in 'horrific gun battle' when he was pulled over on a California highway was depressed and having marital problems, says his father

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.

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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.

Ex-con who shot dead a cop and injured two others in 'horrific gun battle' when he was pulled over on a California highway was depressed and having marital problems, says his father
Ex-con who shot dead a cop and injured two others in 'horrific gun battle' when he was pulled over on a California highway was depressed and having marital problems, says his father
Ex-con who shot dead a cop and injured two others in 'horrific gun battle' when he was pulled over on a California highway was depressed and having marital problems, says his father

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.'

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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.'

Ex-con who shot dead a cop and injured two others in 'horrific gun battle' when he was pulled over on a California highway was depressed and having marital problems, says his father© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Officers scan the area after a 'horrific' shootout left one officer dead and another two wounded Ex-con who shot dead a cop and injured two others in 'horrific gun battle' when he was pulled over on a California highway was depressed and having marital problems, says his father© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited California Highway Patrol officers wait outside the emergency room at Riverside Municipal Medical Center after the officer is shot dead

Police earlier had said at least one civilian had been slightly injured by flying glass during the attack.

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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.

Ex-con who shot dead a cop and injured two others in 'horrific gun battle' when he was pulled over on a California highway was depressed and having marital problems, says his father© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Following the fatal incident CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley confirmed the identity of the officer Ex-con who shot dead a cop and injured two others in 'horrific gun battle' when he was pulled over on a California highway was depressed and having marital problems, says his father© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited 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.

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