PALM SPRINGS, Calif. (AP) — UPDATE: A parade of mourners created a makeshift memorial for two slain Northern California police officers during an emotional vigil held outside the Palm Springs Police Department.
The mourners laid bouquets, written messages and candles outside police headquarters Sunday night, honoring and remembering officers Jose “Gil” Gilbert Vega and Lesley Zerebny, local media reported. The two were shot dead Saturday responding to a domestic disturbance call and a third officer wounded.
Police arrested 26-year-old John Felix after a lengthy standoff. He will be charged Tuesday with murder and could face the death penalty.
ORIGINAL: Three police officers were shot Saturday afternoon in Palm Springs, but there’s no word yet on their conditions, police said.
Dozens of law enforcement officers converged on a normally quiet residential neighborhood after the shooting, sealing off several blocks and evacuating some residents, police said.
Officers also issued a warning that people inside their homes should stay there, lock their doors and not answer them until further notice.
Police said the shooting occurred after officers arrived at a home following a report of a domestic disturbance.
SWAT officers raced to the scene after the shooting but no one was immediately arrested. Police said they believed no one else was hurt.
Gerardo Barrera told The Desert Sun newspaper (http://desert.sn/2eeooxy ) he was working nearby when he heard gunshots. “I saw a person on the ground,” he said. “Someone kept pumping her chest but she wasn’t moving.”
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.
Sgt. Steve Owen was answering a burglary call when sheriff’s officials say he was shot and wounded by a man who then stood over him and shot him four more times.
A paroled robber has been charged with murder.
Lancaster residents were organizing a candlelight memorial for Owen Saturday night.