Suspect in 2 fatal police shootings taken into custody

2016-10-09 17:03
Slain officer Lesley Zerebny (AP).

Slain officer Lesley Zerebny (AP).

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Palm Springs — Police have apprehended the man suspected of fatally shooting two officers and wounding another in Palm Springs, California, authorities announced on Sunday.

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 on 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 hospitalised.

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 neighbourhood 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 sombre salute as the bodies of Zerebny and Vega were loaded into white hearses for transport to a coroner's office.

Meanwhile, in front of police headquarters, scores of local residents gathered to leave flowers, balloons and cards on Saturday night.

The shooting occurred just three days after a popular Los Angeles County sheriff's sergeant was shot and killed in the high desert town of Lancaster.

Sergeant Steve Owen was answering a burglary call when sheriff's officials say he was shot by a man who then stood over him and shot him four more times.

A paroled robber has been charged with murder.

Hundreds of residents held a candlelight vigil on Saturday night in his honour.

Read more on:    us

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.