Andre Moye had been with the California Highway Patrol about three years when he pulled over a truck on the 215 Freeway in Riverside on Monday evening.
It started as a routine traffic stop for the motorcycle officer.
But then, authorities say, the driver Moye stopped pulled out a rifle and opened fire, mortally wounding the CHP officer while he was filling out paperwork to impound the man’s truck.
A law enforcement source told The Times that Moye, 34, was able to call for backup. Three other CHP officers arrived, along with law enforcement officials from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and the Riverside Police Department, and a gun battle ensued. Amid dozens of rounds fired, two other CHP officers were hurt and the gunman was killed.
Moye died at a local hospital.
Riverside Police Chief Sergio Diaz called the violence “horrific” and said a motive for the attack remains unclear.
Moye’s death prompted an outpouring of tributes from state and local officials.
“I am devastated by the tragedy that unfolded earlier in Riverside,” CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley said in a tweet Monday. “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.”
“Our hearts ache over the tragic loss of @CHP’s own Officer Andre Moye — who will be remembered for his commitment to service and the community of Riverside County,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said.
At the hospital, family members told reporters Moye always wanted to be a CHP officer and got the job after working for some time as an electrician.
Family member Deborah Howard told KCBS-TV Channel 2 from the hospital Monday night that she heard about the shooting and texted Moye to see whether he was OK.
“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.”
Moye graduated from the CHP Academy on March 3, 2017, and was assigned to the Riverside County area.
He is survived by his wife, Sara, and his father, mother, stepfather, brothers and sisters, authorities said.