2 police officers shot dead in Southern California, suspect at large
PUBLISHED Sat, October 08, 2016 - 5:49pm EDT
Credit: Brett Kelman
Two police officers have been killed in Southern California and a third has been injured after coming under fire while responding to a family disturbance in Palm Springs, local officials say. A manhunt for the suspected shooter is underway.
The incident began at about 12:18 p.m. PT on Saturday when a woman called police and reported that her adult son was causing a disturbance at their home in the area of Cypress and Del Lago roads, said Palm Springs Police Chief Bryan Reyes.
Two officers responded to the call and attempted to make contact with the man, who refused to open the door and threatened to shoot the officers. A short time later, about 10 minutes after the officers arrived on scene, the suspect opened fire.
Chief Reyes confirmed at a press conference that two officers were killed and that a third officer had been injured. "I'm awake in a nightmare right now," he told reporters.
A large number of heavily-armed police officers remained at the scene on Saturday afternoon and had surrounded the residence, but Chief Reyes said they did not know whether the suspect - whose identity has not yet been released - was still inside. He may also have escaped from the area, he said.
Details about a possible motive for the shooting was not immediately known, but several witnesses described the gunshots as coming from an automatic weapon, saying that dozens of gunshots were being fired. It is unknown if the officers were able to return fire.
The fallen officers were identified as Jose Vega, a 35-year veteran who was due to retire in December and was working overtime, and Lesley Zerebny, a 27-year-old woman who had just returned to duty after giving birth about 4 months ago. Zerebny joined the force about 1.5 year ago.
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The police presence here is larger than any I've seen in Palm Springs, but cops on the perimeter seem calm. Armored car going in. pic.twitter.com/ouPJSuW2Zn