RIVERSIDE (CBSLA) — The California Highway Police family said goodbye to one of its own Tuesday morning with a public memorial service for Officer Andre Moye Jr., who was shot and killed last week during a traffic stop on a 215 Freeway overpass in Riverside.
Hundreds of law enforcement officers from across the state and members of the public turned out for the two-hour memorial service at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside.
“He was a natural born leader,” his brother Michael Solorio told the gathered crowd. “He lead with honesty, kindness, inspiration, courage, humility, and most of all, a perpetual love for his family and friends.”
“Andre, you will always be my hero, I’ll miss you, and I’ll always love you,” his stepfather Richard Solorio said.
The 34-year-old Moye was gunned down in the line of duty — doing a job he had always dreamed of doing — on Aug. 12 while in the process of impounding a truck. The driver of that truck, identified as convicted felon Aaron Luther, allegedly turned a semi-automatic rifle on Moye, killing him. Luther then wounded two other CHP officers in a shootout before being killed by police gunfire, officials said.
Harvest was the same location in April where final respects were paid to CHP Sgt. Steve Licon, who was Moye’s colleague, and like Moye, was a motor officer. Licon was struck by a suspected drunken driver while working extra duty in Lake Elsinore. Stanley noted that Moye happened to be the officer who arrested that suspect, Michael Callahan.
“Andre came into work every day with a smile,” CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley said. “When he walked into the office, he made everybody feel better. He loved being a CHP officer. It was his dream job. He had a strong work ethic and a passion for public service. He was an outstanding man.”
A family friend read a statement from Moye’s wife, Sara, who wrote that he had given her “the best years of my life” and was “truly the love of my life.”
Riverside police are still investigating the motive, but Luther’s wife told the San Bernardino Sun that he was stopped for riding alone in the carpool lane with expired tags and registration. Luther was also a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. He had already spent a decade in prison for an attempted murder conviction.
Moye had been with CHP since 2017. He was a husband, son, talented musician and a friend to many in the Inland Empire.
“Andre’s mother and brother Mike told me that Andre grew his mustache to look a little tougher and a little cooler as a motorcycle officer,” CHP Inland Division Chief Bill Dance said at Tuesday’s service.
Following the service, Moye was laid to rest in a private funeral.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)