Felix was treated at a hospital after his arrest.
But by Saturday, that figure had doubled, with the deaths of one the force’s longest-serving veterans, and of one their newest members. “But it’s that presence just to let them know they’re not in it alone”.
Reyes did confirm that police have had previous dealings with this suspect, but did not elaborate. “You always hear of these things going on in Riverside and L.A., New York, things like that”.
Felix was arrested early Sunday and is suspected of shooting and killing two Palm Springs Police officers – Jose “Gil” Vega and Lesley Serebny – through the front door of a North Cypress Road residence. “He was shaking”, Serrano said.
He will be charged with murder Tuesday with murder and could face the death penalty.
“We attempted for several hours”. “This line of work is designed for 30 years to max out before you retire”.
The slain police officers were named as Jose Gilbert Vega and Lesley Zerebny.
Police said Zerebny recently returned to the force from maternity leave after giving birth to a now-4-month-old daughter. She was married with a four-month-old daughter.
“To see her laying down with her eyes open and to witness her husband, in full Riverside County sheriff’s uniform, kiss her on the forehead for the last time”, said Palm Springs police chief Bryan Reyes, and then Reyes had to pause, his eyes tearing up. Vega was a 35-year veteran who planned to retire in December.
It all started around noon at a home in a quiet Palm Springs neighborhood about two miles away from the city’s international airport.
Reyes says he’s holding off on revealing the suspect’s name until he confers with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, which is now heading the shooting investigation. “As the chief of police for this police department, I’ve got to step forward and stay focused”, Reyes said as he held back tears during the press conference.
The episode began Saturday afternoon, when Felix’s father told a neighbor, Frances Serrano, that Felix was armed, “acting crazy” and wanted to shoot police, Serrano said. He has a gun. “He’s ready to shoot all the police”, Serrano told the Los Angeles Times.
“That was really rough”, said Sandra Walmsley of Indian Wells, after dropping her flowers at the memorial.
The three officers were shot through a closed front door as they tried to get Felix to come outside at 1 p.m. Saturday, according to the sheriff’s department.
As backup arrived, Felix opened the door. A 35-year veteran of the force, Vega had chosen to work overtime Saturday. No other injuries were reported.
This is the latest shooting of multiple police officers in the United States.
As police cars made their way down the interstate, motorists lit their lights in solidarity. “The father said [Felix] had a gun”, she said.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. “My daughters couldn’t even be here because it’s so hard”, said Bickler. “We stayed indoors”, Georgie Eden told the Times. “He was a hell of a guy”.
The Palm Springs Desert Sun described the suspect as a “known gang member”, who spent four years in prison for a 2009 attempted murder plot. He was also arrested in 2013, the paper said, after fighting with police at the same home where Saturday’s shooting occurred.
On Sunday, just a day after news of the officers’ death broke, hundreds of residents gathered outside the police department’s headquarters.
Reyes asked the public not to use social media to show movements of officers who surrounded the house. “Understand we are looking for a cop murderer”.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the shooting.
Riverside Country Sheriffs Deputies walk along a street in Palm Springs, Calif., Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016.