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Officials ID man suspected of killing 2 officers in Southern California

5 years 1 month 3 weeks ago Saturday, October 08 2016 Oct 8, 2016 October 08, 2016 6:04 PM October 08, 2016 in News
Source: Associated Press
By: ApNewsNow
Image: LA Times

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - Authorities have identified the man suspected of fatally shooting two officers and wounding another in Palm Springs, California, and say he will be charged with two counts of murder on a peace officer.

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

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

Palm Springs Police Chief Bryan Reyes identified the officers slain Saturday as Jose "Gil" Gilbert Vega and Lesley Zerebny.

Twenty-seven-year-old Zerebny had been with the department for about 18 months and recently returned from maternity leave after giving birth to a daughter. Vega was a 35-year veteran who planned to retire in December.

The wounded officer's name was not released.

Police Chief Bryan Reyes says three officers in Palm Springs, California were trying to resolve a family dispute Saturday when a man fatally shot two of them and wounded the third.

Reyes told reporters the officers were talking calmly to the man, trying to resolve things when he suddenly opened fire on them.

Court records show the man suspected of fatally shooting two police officers and wounding another in Palm Springs, California, 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 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 she spoke to Felix's father before Saturday's shooting, and he said his son had a gun and wanted to shoot police officers.

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