A public memorial service for the California Highway Patrol officer fatally shot during a gunfight with a convicted felon possibly intent on suicide by cop, is scheduled next week in Riverside.
According to the CHP, parting tributes to 34-year-old Officer Andre Moye Jr. of Moreno Valley will be paid during a 90-minute service at Harvest Christian Fellowship, beginning 10 a.m. Tuesday.
The public is invited to attend, but organizers noted that seating will be very limited due to the large number of law enforcement officials from California and elsewhere expected to be on hand for the service.
A private funeral will be held immediately following the memorial.
Harvest was the same location in April where final respects were paid to CHP Sgt. Steve Licon, who was Moye’s colleague at the Riverside Area Office. Licon was allegedly mowed down by a drunken driver while working extra duty on his motorcycle unit in Lake Elsinore.
About 5:30 p.m. Monday, Moye was at a traffic stop in the area of Box Springs Boulevard and Eastridge Avenue, just west of Interstate 215 in Riverside, arranging for 49-year-old Aaron Luther’s GMC pickup to be towed for undisclosed violations when Luther pulled a semiautomatic rifle from his vehicle and opened fire, according to the CHP.
Moye was mortally wounded but managed to make a call for help, prompting several CHP officers and Riverside County sheriff’s deputies to rush to his aid.
The first CHP officers to arrive engaged in a gunbattle with Luther, who was fatally shot during the exchange.
The two CHP officers involved in the gunfight were injured — one critically, the other superficially. The latter has since returned home and is recuperating.
The other lawmen is receiving treatment at Riverside University Medical Center in Moreno Valley. He is expected to recover.
Moye was flown by a Riverside police helicopter crew to the Moreno Valley hospital, where he was pronounced dead minutes later.
The CHP had planned to hold a celebration Wednesday marking the 90th anniversary of the agency, but those plans were canceled following Moye’s death.
“Officer Moye epitomizes what a CHP officer should always be — a dedicated and selfless public servant,” CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley said during a bell tolling ceremony that supplanted the anniversary event. “He will not be forgotten.”
Moye graduated the CHP Academy in March 2017. He is survived by his wife Sara, father, mother, stepfather, brothers and sisters.
Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a statement, saying he and his wife “extend our heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and fellow officers grieving the tragic loss of Officer Moye, who will be remembered for his commitment to serving the Riverside County community and the people of California.”
Dennis Luther, the gunman’s father, told reporters his son served 10 years in prison for attempted murder, but he was released more than a decade ago.
The elder Luther said, however, that his son was suffering from depression, saying he was having marital troubles and was unable to work because of pain in his knees. He suggested his son may have been trying to commit suicide by cop.
“I think he just, whatever else was going on with his domestic situations and his pain, I think he just thought he didn’t have much to live for,” Dennis Luther told KTLA5. “It’s just unfortunate that he happened to hurt anybody but himself.”
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