Officials ID man suspected of killing 2 officers

KMIR-TVSeveral law enforcement agencies and SWAT teams were assisting in Palm Springs where three officers were shot on Saturday Oct. 8 2016

KMIR-TVSeveral law enforcement agencies and SWAT teams were assisting in Palm Springs where three officers were shot on Saturday Oct. 8 2016

He also wounded a third police officer. Felix and another suspect managed to shoot their target but he didn't die.

District Attorney Michael Hestrin said John Felix would be charged Tuesday with first-degree murder and several other felony counts.

Officers Lesley Zerebny and Jose Gilbert "Gil" Vega were killed during the shooting, according to The Desert Sun. He later pleaded guilty to an infraction. He was sentenced to two years in prison.

During the press conference, Reyes told reporters Officer Vega was a 35-year veteran who planned to retire at the end of the year and Officer Zerebny was a 27-year-old who had just returned to duty after giving birth four months ago. The older one was two months short of retirement.

Reyes became police chief less than a year ago, taking over as acting chief in December and receiving a formal appointment in February.

"Today, Palm Springs lost two courageous officers", Reyes said. "We grieve with the family members, friends and fellow officers coping with this senseless tragedy". "Anne and I join all Californians in offering our heartfelt condolences". Reyes said, pausing to choke back tears.

Dozens of law enforcement officers converged on a normally quiet residential neighborhood after the shooting.

The hospital was placed on lockdown after the suspect could not be located.

Serrano said the man police are looking for had been in jail at one time and had to wear a monitor on his ankle when he was first released.

Serrano said she high-tailed it back into her home, with gunfire erupting as soon as the cruisers pulled up to the house.

Four officers came under fire soon after arriving at the residence in response to a call from a woman who said her son was causing a disturbance, police said.

Police had been responding to a family disturbance, according to officials who said the suspect emerged from a house and began firing. When it was suggested that they call the police, Santos Felix said, "Yeah, he already knows they are coming, and he is going to shoot them". "Someone kept pumping her chest but she wasn't moving".

"They were responding to a simple family disturbance", Reyes said. "They go out every day with their boots on the ground".

"They gave it all for you".

The wounded officer was alert and "doing well", Reyes added.

CNN affiliate KMIR reported the shooting happened around 1 p.m. near the area of Cypress and Del Lago Road. Then he opened fire, gunning down the officers. - "Come out with your hands up!"

Police took the 26-year-old into custody after a lengthy standoff.

Share with Us - We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article, and smart, constructive criticism.

The police were using a robot to investigate the scene.

As officers were attempting to talk to the man behind the door, he "threatened to shoot the officers" through it.

Reyes said the three were standing near the front door speaking with the man, "trying to negotiate with the suspect", when he suddenly shot them. He had been working overtime Saturday on his scheduled day off.

Reyes has been the public face of the Palm Springs Police Department during the deadliest day in its history.

The suspect arrested in connection with the fatal shootings of two cops in Palm Springs, Calif., was wearing body armor and carrying ammo magazines, authorities said.

"It will be closed for a while", Riverside County Sheriff's Department spokesman Mike Vasquez said. "My employees are broken". "Our community will get us through this". "We appreciate the community support and for continuing to have us in your prayers". And I'm very proud of this community.

The Riverside County Sheriff's Department identified him Sunday as John Felix.

Officers from other Southern California police departments - Banning, Beaumont, Colton, Ontario - stood outside the emergency department in a demonstration of solidarity.

Latest News