Two Palm Springs police officers killed, one wounded
- Author: Larry Hoffman Oct 24, 2016,
Oct 24, 2016, 8:02
A third officer was wounded and taken to a hospital.
Zerebny, a "wonderful, young, dedicated" officer, joined the department previous year, Reyes said. He was treated at a local hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.
Riverside County District Attorney Michael Hestrin said Felix may be eligible for the death penalty. Felix will be arraigned on Wednesday or Thursday. He said, "We will be filing two counts of first degree murder, and at least two special circumstances: one being multiple murder, one being murder of a police officer in the line of duty".
Wood says the 26-year-old was not cooperative and police shot him with non-lethal rounds before his arrest.
Meanwhile, police attempted to coax Felix out of the house using a loud speaker, the Desert Sun reported.
He was also the subject of a forceful arrest three years ago at the same doorstep where the shooting occurred.
Following the shooting, officers from Palm Springs and nearby law enforcement agencies converged on the neighborhood and surrounded a house where they believed the shooter was holed up.
Police issued a warning that residents should stay inside their homes, lock their doors and not answer them until further notice.
While police have yet to release any information about the gun used to kill two Palm Springs police officers and injure one Saturday afternoon, any firearm owned by suspect John Felix would have been illegal in California due to his felon status.
The incident broke a 54-year spell in which no on-duty officers had been killed in the resort city of Palm Springs, 100 miles east of Los Angeles. Officer Jose "Gil" Vega, 63, was married and had eight children.
"Here he is, 35 years in, still pushing a patrol auto for our community to make it better", Reyes said. Zerebny was much newer to the force and had just returned to work after giving birth to a baby girl.
"Today Palm Springs lost two courageous officers", Reyes said. "It's tough", he finally said.
Residents on the block normally leave their doors unlocked, without fear of robbery, she said.
Within 10 minutes, shots had been fired and all three officers had been hit. And they get gunned down? "I don't understand it".
The shooting came four days after a Los Angeles County sheriff's sergeant was shot and killed in Lancaster while responding to a burglary report, and three months after a gunman killed five officers in Dallas, followed days later by another shooting in Baton Rouge, where three officers were killed.
Police have identified the man suspected of fatally shooting two officers and wounding another in Palm Springs, officials announced Sunday.
Two-year-old Jayden Bunnell kisses flowers at the urging of his grandparents Barbara Bunnell and J.D. Bunnell, from Cathedral City, Calif., for slain Palm Springs Police Officers Jose "Gil" Gilbert Vega and Lesley Zerebny, in f. They go out every day and put their boots on the ground for everybody in this community. She was married with a four-month-old daugh.
"We would see him walking down the street", the neighbor said".
"You're going to witness firsthand how this community is like no place else", Reyes said. "This is happening everywhere".
Police urged people who live in the area to remain inside and lock their doors.
On Sunday, Reyes said his department and family members of the slain officers had been grappling with a hard 24 hours.
"I am awake in a nightmare right now", Reyes told reporters.
"I saw a woman officer who had been laid down in the trunk of a police cruiser", he said. She was a 2007 graduate of West Valley High School. "My daughters couldn't even be here because it's so hard", said Bickler.