Suspect arrested in fatal shooting of two California police officers
USA - A suspect arrested in the fatal shooting of two California police officers had high-capacity ammunition magazines and concealable soft body armor when he was captured, law enforcement authorities said yesterday. John Felix, 26, was taken into custody by a SWAT team in Palm Springs, California, early Sunday morning after an hours-long standoff that began when four officers arrived at the home to investigate a report of a family dispute. He was not armed at the time of his arrest. “The officers came under fire soon after arriving at the residence in response to a call from a woman who said her son was causing a disturbance”, police said.
The officers killed were Jose Vega, 63, a veteran of the Palm Springs Police Department who planned to retire in December, and Lesley Zerebny, 27, who was on the force for a year and a half and had just returned from maternity leave after giving birth to a daughter. A third officer, who authorities declined to identify, suffered non-life threatening injuries and is expected to be released from a hospital shortly. Palm Springs Police Chief Bryan Reyes said at a news conference that the officer was providing details about the incident to investigators.
After the initial shooting, dozens of officers in tactical gear and backed by an armored vehicle set up positions outside the home where the suspect had barricaded himself and continued to fire shots. Police deployed robots inside the residence but failed to pinpoint the suspect’s location. They then released ‘chemical agents’ inside of the home and Felix came out shortly after.
Felix was treated at a hospital after his arrest. He will be booked on two counts of murder of a police officer, authorities said in a statement. He could receive the death penalty if convicted.