Suspect Arrested After Shooting that Left Two Officers Dead, One Wounded
Two Palm Springs police officers were killed and one injured after being called to a local house on a domestic dispute Saturday. One suspect is in custody.
Officers Jose Gilbert Vega, 63, a 35-year veteran of the department who was due to retire in two months, and Lesley Zerebny, 27, who had recently returned to duty after giving birth to a daughter four months ago, were identified as the two officers killed in the shooting.
Vega was a father of eight and wasn't supposed to be on duty but decided to work overtime.
“Today Palm Springs lost two brave officers," said Police Chief Bryan Reyes in a press conference. "I am awake in a nightmare right now."
According to police, just after 12 p.m. on Saturday, they received a call from a woman who said her adult son was causing a disturbance at the residence.
Police said that officers arrived on the scene and approached the front door to try and negotiate with the man inside but he refused to open the door and threatened to shoot officers through it.
Ten minutes later, shots had been fired and three officers were wounded. All three were transported to the hospital where Zerebny and Vega were pronounced dead, according to police.
The third officer was treated but doing well, according to police.
According to reports, by 2 p.m. dozens of officers were outside of the residence where the suspect was holed up after the shooting.
The standoff with police lasted until early Sunday morning when police took suspected shooter, John Felix, into custody.
According to FoxNews Frances Serrano, a neighbor, told reporters she called authorities after the father of the shooting suspect came to her house across the street and told her his son was "acting crazy."
He said, “Help. I need help. My son is in the house, and he’s crazy. He has a gun. He’s ready to shoot all the police," Serrano told the Los Angeles Times.
Serrano said she heard gunshots just a few moments after officers arrived.
According to reports police had been called to the residence a week prior for another domestic dispute.
“Gov. Jerry Brown said in a statement that the officers "were killed today doing what they do every day – protecting their community."
"We grieve with the family members, friends and fellow officers coping with this senseless tragedy," Brown said. "Anne and I join all Californians in offering our heartfelt condolences.”
A memorial was set up outside of police headquarters where residents gathered.
The Police Memorial Plaza at 0130 hours. Proud of the community we serve, thank you for your support. May our fallen heroes Rest In Peace. pic.twitter.com/aMWJfYuO6m— Palm Springs PD (@PalmSpringsPD) October 9, 2016