Suspect in 2 fatal police shootings taken into custody
Police have apprehended the man suspected of fatally shooting two officers and wounding another in Palm Springs, California, authorities announced yesterday. The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department made the announcement overnight on Twitter. No further information was immediately available.
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. Riverside County SWAT officers quickly sealed off the normally quiet residential neighborhood in this desert resort town as police evacuated some residents. They told others to stay inside their homes, keep their doors locked and not to open them for anyone until further notice.
Although Reyes didn’t identify the shooting suspect, he indicated police had had previous dealings with him. He declined to elaborate, adding that Riverside County sheriff’s deputies were now in charge of the investigation. As the lockdown continued, scores of police officers gathered at Palm Springs Desert Regional Medical Center to offer a somber salute as the bodies of Zerebny and Vega were loaded into white hearses for transport to a coroner’s office. — AP
PALM SPRINGS: Riverside County Sheriffs Deputies stand near the scene of a shooting on Saturday. — AP