California officer killed in wild shootout with suspect

Officers in shootout near Riverside Calif. freeway

A CHP officer was doing paperwork to impound the pickup truck when the man reached in, grabbed a rifle and fatally wounded the officer, authorities said.

CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley tweeted his sympathies Monday evening.

Traffic near the shooting scene and the nearby Interstate 215/Moreno Valley (60) Freeway interchange was expected to be affected throughout the morning commute and drivers were asked to find alternate routes, Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco said.

None of the officers' conditions are known at this time.

The officer returned fire, authorities said.

Authorities didn't immediately release the names of the slain CHP officer or the gunman.

The shooter was identified by family as 49-year-old Aaron Luther of Beaumont, who was a felon and should not have been in possession of a gun, his father told KABC-TV.

Luther said his son called his wife to pick him up after his truck was impounded. "I told my kids to get down and duck but they couldn't, their seatbelts were on", she said. "I wish people could just love each other". "I'm devastated. I just can't believe it".

When he was released from prison, Aaron Luther worked in construction but could not perform well because of pain in his knees, his father said.

Shortly before he was killed, Moye had called for a tow truck.

Several motorists were hit with flying glass shards from bullets hitting their auto windows, officials said, and were treated by paramedics at the scene. "And I think this might have been suicide by the police", Dennis Luther said. "So I don't know what overcame him". He would not identify them but said they are expected to survive.

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 auto behind her.

"He's my hero", Moctezuma said.

"We don't know where the suspect was going, where he was headed to, what his affiliations are", Diaz said.

Dozens lined up and saluted as the officer's flag-draped body was removed from the hospital and placed in a hearse. Then motorcycle officers escorted the hearse in a procession to the county coroner's office.



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