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"Officer Down"

Assault Weapons and the War on Law Enforcement

Section Three: Selected Incidents of Law Enforcement Officers Killed in the Line of Duty by Assault Weapons, 1998 Through 2001

Date: July 7, 1998

Location: San Benito, Texas

Assault Weapon: AR-15 .223 rifle

On July 7, 1998, two U.S. Border Patrol agents were killed with an AR-15 .223 rifle. Ernie Moore, reportedly enraged over a broken love affair, shot and wounded Dan Morin, who had been dating Moore's former girlfriend, and killed Morin's mother and sister. Two hours later, a shootout ensued between Moore and police officers resulting in the death of two Border Patrol agents before Moore was fatally wounded. In addition to a cocaine habit, Moore had a history of emotional problems and displayed Nazi posters and photos of Adolf Hitler in his bedroom.

James Pinkerton, "Two Border Patrol Agents Are Slain During Rampage," Houston Chronicle, July 8, 1998; "Assault Rifle Costs Border Town $35M," National Law Journal, March 4, 2002.


Each weapon shown is representative of the brand or model of assault weapon and is not a picture of the specific weapon used in the shooting described in the narrative.

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  All contents � 2003 Violence Policy Center


The Violence Policy Center is a national non-profit educational foundation that conducts research on violence in America and works to develop violence-reduction policies and proposals. The Center examines the role of firearms in America, conducts research on firearms violence, and explores new ways to decrease firearm-related death and injury.