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'Long and horrific gun battle' leaves one officer dead, two injured following California shootout

Posted at 5:42 AM, Aug 13, 2019

Warning: The video in the player above contains strong language and graphic content.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — One California Highway Patrol officer is dead and two other officers remain hospitalized after a shootout Monday following a traffic stop in Riverside .

According to Riverside authorities, the shooting happened around 5:35 p.m. on the 215 Freeway.

"One of our officers succumbed to the injuries sustained," the CHP tweeted.

Riverside authorities say a CHP officer stopped the suspect driving a GMC pickup truck and then decided to impound the vehicle.

As he was calling for a tow truck and filling out paperwork, the suspect entered the truck, grabbed a rifle and fired it at the officer, police say. The officer was able to broadcast an "officer needs assistance" call.

Of the first three officers on scene, two of them were immediately engaged, both of them were struck during a gunfire exchange, authorities said.

One of them received major injuries and is in critical condition. The other received minor injuries.

The suspect was killed in a shootout with a fourth officer.

The officer who initiated the traffic stop was transported to a hospital in Moreno Valley and was pronounced dead, authorities said.

"It was a long and horrific gun battle," said Riverside Police Chief Sergio Diaz. "And it resulted in a very extensive crime scene."

A total of three officers were shot. Police say a witness may have also been hit with something, but it doesn't appear to be gunfire.

Video from the scene shows bullet holes in the front windshields of two CHP cars.

KABC is reporting that family members of the suspected gunman identified him as Aaron Luther, a father of two from Beaumont, California, in his late 40s.

Video of shooting

Video shows the moment shots were fired during the shootout.

The video appears to be filmed by a woman pulled over onto the side of the road near the 215 Freeway, where the shooting took place.

Video filmed near the scene captures the sound of shots as the suspect can be seen approaching a CHP car with what appears to be a rifle.

This story was originally published by Zac Self on KGTV .