Death penalty sought in shooting deaths of 2 Palm Springs cops – 89.3 KPCC
The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office is seeking the death penalty against John Felix, charged with the murders of two Palm Springs police officers earlier this month, according to a press release from the DA’s office. Felix previously pleaded not guilty.
Felix, 26, allegedly shot and killed officers Jose Vega, 63 and Lesley Zerebny, 27, on Saturday, Oct. 8. Felix, described as “self-admitted and known gang member” in the release, is believed to have ambushed the officers when they were responding to a family disturbance call.
“This was a heinous crime involving the murders of two police officers who were gunned down simply because they were police officers,” Hestrin said in the release. “The victims in this case were responding to a call for service and died in the line of duty protecting our community.”
Riverside County DA Mike Hestrin met with family members of Vega and Zerebny on Wednesday, then met with prosecutors to examine and discuss evidence from the case before deciding to seek the death penalty, according to the release.
Felix also faces three counts of attempted murder involving other Palm Springs officers, including one who was wounded by gunfire before being treated and released. Felix allegedly possessed an assault weapon, armor-piercing ammunition and was wearing a body vest.
Being a convicted Felon, Felix was not legally allowed to possess a firearm or ammunition. The assault weapon allegedly used by Felix was stolen.
Before being arrested, Felix allegedly barricaded himself inside a residence, before being taken into custody after about 12 hours.