Two police officers were killed and another was injured after responding to a family disturbance Saturday afternoon, Oct. 8, and the suspect was still at large.
The officers killed were Jose G. Vega, a 35-year veteran and Lesley Zerebny, 27, a new mother, said Palm Springs Police Chief Bryan Reyes at a 4:30 p.m. news conference.
The third officer is alert and talking, Reyes said.
At that news conference, the chief fought back tears.
"I'm awake in a nightmare right now," Reyes said. "As chief of police, I need to step forward and stay focused."
He added: "Today, Palm Springs lost 2 brave officers. They gave it all for you."
Officers responded to reports of a family disturbance about 12:30 p.m. Saturday in the 2700 block of Cypress Road and were met with gunfire originating from a nearby home, said Palm Springs police Sgt. William Hutchinson.
Hutchinson said it was not known whether the suspect was in the home officers responded to, or elsewhere.
Bill Buxton, a 56-year-old Palm Springs native, was sitting on his porch at about 1 p.m. when authorities responded to the shooting.
"All of a sudden, all hell broke loose," said Buxton, who lives just north of the neighborhood where the shooting occurred. "Every siren you can imagine, for 30 minutes straight. ... This doesn't happen here."
All three officers were taken to the hospital. Shortly before 4 p.m., the Palm Springs Police Officers Association confirmed via Twitter that two of those officers had died.
Dozens of law enforcement personnel responded to the scene from multiple agencies including the Hemet Police Department and the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.
Three Hemet police officers and a rescue vehicle have been sent to assist in a Palm Springs emergency situation, said Hemet police Sgt. Glen Brock. He could not comment on the specifics of the emergency.