Man Suspected of Killing 2 Palm Springs Cops in Custody

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. (AP) -
Riverside Country Sheriffs Deputies stand near the scene of the shooting in Palm Springs, Calif., on Saturday. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Peña)
Riverside Country Sheriffs Deputies stand near the scene of the shooting in Palm Springs, Calif., on Saturday. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Peña)

Police have apprehended the man suspected of fatally shooting two officers and wounding another in Palm Springs, California, authorities announced Sunday.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department identified the suspect as John Felix. He will be charged with two counts of murder on a peace officer.

Officials say Felix surrendered after a lengthy standoff. He was injured and treated at a hospital.

Two officers trying to resolve a family dispute were killed Saturday when a man they had been speaking with suddenly pulled out a gun and opened fire, Palm Springs police Chief Bryan Reyes said. A third officer was wounded and remained hospitalized.

The chief identified the slain officers as Jose “Gil” Gilbert Vega and Lesley Zerebny.

Zerebny, 27, had been with the department for about 18 months and only recently returned from maternity leave after giving birth to a daughter four months ago. Vega, the father of eight, was a 35-year veteran who planned to retire in December. He had been working overtime on his day off Saturday. The wounded officer’s name was not released.

Court records show that Felix is a gang member who was previously sentenced to four years in prison in a failed murder plot.

The Desert Sun newspaper cites documents that show that 26-year-old John Felix was also the subject of a forceful arrest three years ago at the same house where Saturday’s shootings occurred.

Felix was charged with attempted murder in a 2009 shooting. Records show Felix pleaded down to assault with a firearm and admitted his gang connection.

A neighbor, Frances Serrano, tells The Associated Press that she spoke to Felix’s father before Saturday’s shooting, and he said his son had a gun and wanted to shoot police officers.