Memorial Service for Slain Palm Springs Officers to Draw Thousands

Posted on: October 18th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

artolympic/iStock/Thinkstock(PALM SPRINGS, Calif.) — California Gov. Jerry Brown and law enforcement officials are among the thousands of people expected to attend a memorial service in Palm Springs, California, Tuesday afternoon for two police officers who were killed in the line of duty.

Officers Jose “Gil” Vega, 63, and Lesley Zerebny, 27, were fatally shot Saturday, Oct. 8, while responding to a domestic disturbance call at a home, police said.

Zerebny had just returned to duty after giving birth to her 4-month-old baby, officials said. She was married to a Riverside County sheriff’s deputy.

Vega, a 35-year veteran of the Palm Springs Police Department, was working on an overtime unscheduled shift. A married father of eight, he was due to retire in December.

A third officer was shot and injured and released from the hospital the next day.

Palm Springs Police Chief Bryan Reyes said shortly after the incident, “I am awake in a nightmare.”

John Felix, 26, was arrested in connection with the shooting and is facing charges including murder, authorities said. Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin described it as an “ambush.”

“This individual wanted to kill police officers,” Hestrin said, according to ABC station KABC. “He attacked these officers for no reason other than that they were officers coming to a call.”

Felix has pleaded not guilty.

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