UPDATE: 6 a.m. EDT — The suspect in the southern California cop shootings has been identified as John Felix, a Palm Springs resident, Riverside County Sheriff's Department said in a press release Sunday morning.
The 26-year-old was taken to a local hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries he received during the incident. He will be lodged at the Robert Presley Detention Center and be charged with two counts of murder on a peace officer.
UPDATE: 4:05 a.m. EDT — The man suspected of killing two police officers and injuring another Sturday in Palm Springs was taken into custody around 1 a.m. local time (4 a.m. EDT) Sunday, the Riverside County Sheriff's Department said.
No additional information was given out.
Two officers in Palm Springs, California were fatally shot and a third was injured after a man opened fire while the cops were attempting to resolve a family dispute they were called in for Saturday, the police department said.
Palm Springs police Chief Bryan Reyes, in an emotional briefing to the press, identified the dead officers as Jose “Gil” Gilbert Vega and Lesley Zerebny. The name of the wounded officer was not released but Reyes said he was alert and “doing well.”
“The officers, from what I understand, were at the front (door) trying to negotiate with the suspect to just comply,” Reyes reportedly said. “It was a simple family disturbance and he elected to open fire on ... guardians of this city.”
The department said the officers went to a residence around 12:15 p.m. local time (3:15 p.m. EDT), following a call from a woman who said her adult son was causing a disturbance. When the police arrived at the door, the suspect refused to open it and also threatened to shoot the officers, before doing exactly that.
“Understand that we’re actively looking for a cop murderer,” Reyes said, requesting the public and media not to livestream officers’ movement and locations on social media while the police was attempting to apprehend the suspect, as it could put more lives in danger.
Vega was a 63-year-old father of eight who had put in his papers and was due to retire in December. The veteran was working an overtime shift on Saturday. Reyes said: “Here he is, 35 years in, still pushing a patrol car for our community to make it better. On a day he wasn't even designed to work.”
Zerebny, 27, had worked with the department for about a year and a half. The young mother had recently returned to duty from maternity leave, after giving birth to her now-four-month-old daughter, Reyes said.
The Associated Press reported one of the neighbors, Frances Serrano, saying she called authorities after the suspect’s father came to her house saying his son was “acting crazy.” He added that his son had threatened to shoot any cops if they arrived on the scene. Serrano said: “He said his wife left because she was so scared of him.”