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Palm Springs Holds Vigil for Slain Police Officers


The two police officers killed Saturday were honored by friends, family and fellow officers at a vigil Sunday outside the Palm Springs Police Department.

Officers Jose (Gil) Gilbert Vega, 63, and Lesley Zerebny, 27, who responded to a call about a family disturbance, were killed when 26-year-old John Felix opened fire from inside the apartment. A third officer was wounded.

Vega, a 35-year veteran officer, was planning to retire in December and Zerebny had given birth to a daughter four months earlier. Her husband is a deputy with the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.

Many attended the vigil, leaving candles, pictures and flowers outside the police department.

City Manager David Ready said he knew Officer Vega well.

"He was a guy who could have retired a long time ago but didn't," USA Today quoted Ready. "He loved being a police officer. Whenever a call went out for overtime shifts, he was always ready to volunteer."

Another visitor at the memorial said, "I couldn't imagine having a newborn, going back to work, and this baby's going to never know her mom because she went to protect other people and because of that, this daughter gets to grow up without a mother."

Police took Felix into custody after a 12-hour standoff, booking him on two counts of murder. He is being held without bail.

Moments before he opened fire, Felix reportedly told his father he wanted to kill cops.

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