PALM SPRINGS, Calif., Oct. 8 (UPI) — Two police officers were fatally shot and a third wounded on Saturday while responding to a domestic dispute in Palm Springs, Calif., law enforcement officials said, and the shooter remains at large.
Police said they are searching for a lone suspect and no motive for the shooting was given.
“A suspect appeared from the residence and there was some kind of shooting from the suspect,” a Palm Springs police spokesman told The Desert Sun. “I believe this was some kind of domestic disturbance.”
The Sun and KESQ-TV reported two of the officers were killed.
Palm Springs Police Chief Brian Reyes said the officers killed were Lesley Zerebny and Jose Gilbert “Gil” Vega. Reyes said Zerebny was the mother of a four-month-old baby and Vega was a 35-year veteran of the force who was due to retire in less than three months. He was working an overtime shift Saturday when the shooting happened, Reyes said.
The name of the officer wounded was not given, nor was there an update on his condition.
Reyes said there was no indication the incident was anything more than a routine family disturbance beforehand.
“It was a simple family disturbance and he elected to open fire,” Reyes said.
Police told residents in the area to take shelter in their homes until the suspect was caught. Police in tactical gear were seen in the area near the shooting.
Witnesses told the Sun they heard between 10 and 20 gunshots ring out from what sounded like a machine gun. Shortly after, the neighborhood was flooded with police cars and emergency responders and streets were shut down.
Palm Springs Mayor Rob Moon said shortly after walking out of the emergency room where the wounded officers were taken: “It’s probably the worst day of my life.”