Latest: Wounded officer to be released from hospital soon


PALM SPRINGS, Calif. (AP) – The Latest on the shooting of three police officers in Palm Springs (all times local):

12:05 p.m.

Palm Springs Police Chief Bryan Reyes says the officer wounded in a shooting that killed two other officers is alert and talking with investigators.

Reyes said at a press conference that the male officer, who was not named, is likely to be released from the hospital Sunday.

The officer was wounded during a domestic disturbance call Saturday when a man suddenly pulled out a gun and opened fire at a home in the desert city east of Los Angeles.

Officers Jose “Gil” Gilbert Vega, a 35-year police veteran, and Lesley Zerebny, who’d been on the force less than two years, were killed.

Police arrested 26-year-old John Felix after a lengthy standoff. He will be charged Tuesday with murder and could face the death penalty.

11:55 a.m.

Authorities say the man suspected of fatally shooting two police officers in Palm Springs, California, emerged wearing soft body armor after police shot a chemical agent into the home where he was holed up for hours.

Chief Deputy Ray Wood of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department says John Felix was not carrying a gun but had several magazines of ammunition on his body when he exited through the back door early Sunday.

Wood says the 26-year-old was not cooperative and police shot him with non-lethal rounds before his arrest.

Prosecutors say Felix will be charged Tuesday with multiple counts including murder.

Two police officers responding to a family disturbance call were killed Saturday and a third was wounded but is expected to survive.

8:35 a.m.

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.

Felix was arrested early Sunday after a lengthy standoff.


6:50 a.m.

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.

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