The Latest: Family recalls example set by slain officer

AP News
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Posted: Oct 18, 2016 3:39 PM
The Latest: Family recalls example set by slain officer

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on the memorial for two slain Palm Springs police officers (all times local):

12:35 p.m.

Relatives of the Palm Springs police officers shot to death in what authorities have called an ambush have shared memories of their loved ones before a crowd of thousands.

Nephew Andrew Vega said Tuesday his 63-year-old uncle Officer Jose "Gil" Vega was born into poverty and dedicated his life to bettering the world around him, giving a positive role model for him and other young Latinos.

Authorities say Vega and 27-year-old Officer Lesley Zerebny died Oct. 8 after a gang member fired an assault rifle through a metal screen door as they responded to a domestic disturbance call.

Nearly 10,000 mourners and law enforcement officers from cities in California and elsewhere attended the memorial at the Palm Springs Convention Center.

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11:35 a.m.

A memorial service is underway for two Palm Springs police officers who were shot to death while responding to a domestic disturbance call at the home of an ex-convict.

Uniformed officers from cities across California and the country are attending Tuesday's service for 63-year-old Officer Jose "Gil" Vega and 27-year-old Officer Lesley Zerebny.

At least 10,000 are expected at the memorial, including California Gov. Jerry Brown.

Authorities say Vega and Zerebny died Oct. 8 in an ambush when a gang member fired an assault rifle through a metal screen door.

Suspect John Felix has pleaded not guilty to murder charges.

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10:40 a.m.

Mourners are pouring into the Palm Springs Convention Center for a memorial service for two police officers shot to death while responding to a domestic disturbance call.

The Press-Enterprise of Riverside reports that uniformed police officers from a spate of cities lined up Tuesday to attend the service for 63-year-old Officer Jose "Gil" Vega and 27-year-old Officer Lesley Zerebny.

A large American flag was draped outside the center, where at least 10,000 are expected to attend the memorial, including California Gov. Jerry Brown.

Authorities say Vega and Zerebny died Oct. 8 in an ambush when a gang member fired an assault rifle through a metal screen door.

Suspect John Felix has pleaded not guilty to murder charges.

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8:45 a.m.

A procession is underway for one of the two Palm Springs police officers killed while responding to a domestic disturbance call at the family home of an ex-convict.

The Palm Springs Police Department's Twitter page says a procession began early Tuesday for Officer Lesley Zerebny from Hemet to the Palm Springs Convention Center where thousands are expected to gather for a memorial service.

A procession for Officer Jose "Gil" Vega is expected to begin later Tuesday morning in Cathedral City.

Authorities say 63-year-old Vega and 27-year-old Zerebny were killed Oct. 8 when gang member John Felix opened fire on them with an assault rifle through a metal screen door.

The killings have rocked the tight-knit resort community 100 miles east of Los Angeles.

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11:20 p.m.

A memorial service will be held for two Palm Springs police officers shot to death when responding to a domestic disturbance call at the home of the family of an ex-convict.

Officers Jose "Gil" Vega and Lesley Zerebny will be honored at a service Tuesday in the Palm Springs Convention Center before they are laid to rest.

Authorities say the officers were killed Oct. 8 when 26-year-old ex-convict John Felix opened fire on them with an assault rifle through a metal screen door.

The deaths of 63-year-old Vega and 27-year-old Zerebny rocked the tight-knit community 100 miles east of Los Angeles. Residents have left bouquets, balloons and notes outside the police station and have been selling T-shirts to raise money for the officers' families.