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Colleagues Honor Slain CHP Officer With a Single Bell Toll and Silent Salute

CHP Officer Andre Moye was killed in an ambush during a traffic stop in Riverside. His name will be the 231st added to the agency's memorial fountain

It was supposed to be a day of celebration in tribute to the 90th anniversary of one of the nation's most recognized law enforcement agencies.

Instead, a single bell toll Wednesday morning was part of a solemn California Highway Patrol ceremony for a colleague killed this week when a driver he pulled over grabbed a rifle and opened fire during a traffic stop.

The bell toll was followed by a moment of silence and salute to 33-year-old CHP Officer Andre Moye, who worked in the Riverside area. The ceremony at the highway patrol's academy in the city of West Sacramento replaced the agency's plan to celebrate its 90th anniversary, the highway patrol said in a statement.

Moye's name will be the 231st added to the CHP Memorial Fountain on the academy grounds. 

In Riverside, outside Moye's CHP office, mourners left handwritten notes and flowers Wednesday. Visitors included other law enforcement officers and Southern California residents.

"It struck close to home," said Sgt. Aaron Lester, of the Kauai, Hawaii Police Department, when he visited the memorial Wednesday morning. "He's a young guy, my age. I just hate to see any of us lose anybody like that."

Visitor James Zamora said the officer's death is painful for the entire community.

"They're doing their job. That's what they're here for. For the guys that are out there doing their job, I appreciate it," said Zamora, who lives about a mile from the shooting scene. "It's just hard for the community... It's pretty tough."

Moye had stopped 49-year-old Aaron Luther on a freeway in the Southern California city of Riverside on Monday. The motorcycle officer was filling out paperwork to impound Luther's pickup truck when Luther, who was outside the vehicle and not restrained, reached inside, pulled out a rifle and started shooting on the freeway's overpass.

Moye was fatally wounded but called for help and two responding officers were shot in the legs while frightened motorists ducked for cover from dozens of flying bullets.

Luther was convicted of attempted murder in 1994 and also had convictions for assault, domestic violence, unlawful possession of a firearm and battery.

Moye had been with the highway patrol for about three years and was a motorcycle officer for about a year.

"His mother told me this was his dream job and he loved going to work," said CHP Inland Division Chief Bill Dance said. "It's what he always wanted to do."

Dance said Moye was an "outstanding" officer devoted to public service. He is survived by his wife, mother, father, stepfather, two brothers, two sisters and a large extended family, Dance said.

Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered flags at half-staff Tuesday at the state Capitol and called Moye's death devastating. Newsom, who took office in January, said he's already been to "too many" funerals of officers killed in the line of duty.

"It's just unacceptable and we need to push back against any notion that these folks are not the heroes that they are," he said, adding that the death is another example of the "normalization of gun violence that we've long accepted in this country but no other country in the world would accept."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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