Local police have apprehended a 26-year-old man who is suspected of killing two officers. After opening fire on law enforcement officials, the assailant surrendered “peacefully,” the sheriff’s department said.
Police arrested a man who fatally shot two officers and wounded another in Palm Springs, California, local authorities said in a statement on Sunday.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department responded to a family dispute at the assailant’s residence in the resort desert town, cordoning off the area and evacuating residents.
“Officers were met with gunfire through the closed front door and an officer-involved shooting occurred … The suspect refused to surrender and exchanged gunfire with officers as he barricaded himself in his residence,” the department said.
“After a lengthy standoff, the suspect surrendered peacefully to Riverside Country Sheriff’s Department SWAT member and was taken into custody,” it added.
The deceased included Jose Gilbert Vega, a law enforcement veteran of 35 years who planned to retire in December, and Lesley Zerebny, who returned to department from maternity leave after joining 18 months ago.
Dozens of police officers gathered at the local hospital where the casualties had been taken to receive treatment, offering a somber salute to Zerebny and Vega, whose bodies were transferred into white hearses for transport to the coroner’s office.
“The Riverside Sheriff’s Department is mourning along with Palm Springs Police Department for the loss of (these) officers … killed today in the line of duty,” police said in a tweet.
The surviving officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave in accordance with local departmental policy, authorities said. The assailant has been charged with two counts of murder on a peace officer.
ls/rc (AP, AFP, Reuters)