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The rifle used in the deadly Riverside shooting was an unsung "ghost rifle", sources say



A semi-automatic rifle used by a convicted felon in a gunfight with police off Highway 215 on Monday, killing CHP officer Andre Moye and injuring two of his colleagues is a "ghost gun" that cannot be traced by authorities, according to law enforcement sources.

Investigators have publicly described the weapon used in the arms battle as a rifle only, but a law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation told The Times that Aaron Luther used an "AR-15 style rifle" in the fatal battle with gun.

Ghost weapons are non-serialized weapons that are manufactured from parts that can be ordered by mail or processed parts obtained from underground manufacturers.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives failed to track down the weapon used by Luther, said two law enforcement sources with knowledge of the investigation.

Luther, a convicted felon with a wealth of criminal background, would not be allowed to possess a firearm under California law because of his criminal records.

Authorities are monitoring the proliferation of such unsupervised weapons.

"About one-third of all firearms seized in Southern California are now non-serialized, and this is expected to increase," says Ginger Kolbrun, spokesman for the ATF office in the Los Angeles area.

history, according to law enforcement officials, usually buy their weapons on the black market for underground gun sales.In one attack last year, authorities removed 45 ghost guns after a six-month undercover operation in Hollywood, in which case some of the weapons made by the gang wereassault rifles.

The AR-1

5, like the one owned by Luther, launches small but high-speed bullets and can be modified to use high-capacity magazines .223-caliber shots are often broken into victims' bodies, creating more devastating injuries than wounds usually left by larger but slower-firing pistols with a rifle.

A source familiar with the weapon recovered from Luther after he was killed.
the magazine probably had capacity
30 rounds and that he was able to fire a large number of rounds before Riverside police and sheriff's deputies joined the gun battle and cut him down Highway 215.

Investigators are still trying to find out how Luther came to own the weapon.

Court records show that Luther pleaded guilty to one count of attempted murder and two counts of burglary in Los Angeles County in 1994. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison and sentenced
granted parole in 2004, according to the California Department of Corrections and Recovery.

Beaumont resident also convicted of disturbance of peace, vandalism, battery, robbery, unlawful possession of a firearm, assault with a deadly weapon and bodily harm. ultimately killing the 34-year-old Moue is "long and horrifying", leaving investigators with multiple crime scenes to look at. Moye, who has been with the CHP for almost three years, was transferred to Moreno Valley Hospital after the shooting, where he was pronounced dead. Two other TPP personnel injured in the shooting are expected to recover, Interior Division Chief Bill Dens said.

The death meeting began at 5:35 PM when Moye stopped Luther, who was driving a white pickup truck at GMC, at the exit of Eastridge / Eucalyptus Avenue. At some point during the traffic stop – for unknown reasons – Moye decided to close the man's car and call for a tow truck, said CHP Assistant Chief of Internal Affairs Scott Parker.

It was not immediately clear where Luther was headed when he was stopped. While Moye was filling out documents, the man pulled a shotgun from his truck and started firing at the officer, Parker said.

"We don't know why" the shooting started, said Riverside police spokesman Ryan Rilesback. "This will all be part of this lengthy investigation."

Moue returned fire and although shot, he was able to broadcast radio for help. Three other CHP officers soon arrived, followed by three deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff's Department and at least one Riverside Police Department employee, authorities said.

Ghost weapons are legal for those who are allowed to own a firearm. But California requires anyone who creates a gun to apply for a unique serial number with the state Department of Justice and put that number on the firearm.

Police weapons experts say those banned from buying a gun can still buy the partial lower receiver known as "80% lower" and then buy the rest of the weapons.

In 2013, John Zawahri killed five people in the Santa Monica area using an AR-15 style rifle that he built from a partially manufactured lower receiver that had no serial number and therefore did not need to be registered, police said parts needed to assemble a working rifle, including ammunition magazines, were shipped from outside the country.

When LAPD and ATF netted 45 ghost guns from one gang last year, ATF's top agent described the growing problem posed by weapons.
"Criminals make their own weapons because they can't buy them legally … or pay other people to make weapons for them to circumvent gun laws," says Bill McMulan, then the special agent responsible for the ATF unit in terrain.

Series
the number is issued only to the lower receiver of the weapon. Some California lawmakers are pushing for a check on all parts of the gun to stifle the ghost trade.

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