‘He wanted to gun down police officers because they wore the uniform’



A gang member who is accused of killing two Palm Springs police officers used an AR-15 and armor piercing-bullets, Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin said in a press conference Wednesday. According to Hestrin, the man’s goal was to kill police.

Officers Jose “Gil” Vega and Lesley Zerebny were shot and killed on Saturday, with a third officer wounded. As the Desert Sun reports, all three officers were wearing bulletproof vests.

John Felix, 26, shot the officers through the front door of a home, say police. He has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder and three counts of attempted murder, with enhancement filed on each charge for the use of body armor and armor-piercing bullets.

Officers Jose “Gil” Vega and Lesley Zerebn

Felix was also charged with illegal possession of an assault weapon and possession of a stolen firearm.

During the press conference, Hestrin said that Felix attempted to murder two other officers who were not injured.

“This individual wanted to kill police officers,” Hestrin said. “That’s the motive. He wanted to gun down police officers because they wore the uniform.”

Hestrin said he is not ready to make a decision as to whether to pursue the death penalty against Felix.