Palm Springs Police Officers responded to a call from a woman who reported a disturbance involving her adult son at 12:18 p.m. (3:18 p.m. ET) and reports of gunfire came in about 10 minutes later, Reyes said.
The shooting happened on Cypress Road in the north part of the city. Police are not sure the exact whereabouts of the suspect, but a sheriff’s SWAT team has a home surrounded and he may be inside the residence, Reyes said.
“It was a simple family disturbance and he elected to open fire on the guardians of the city,” police Chief Bryan Reyes, his voice breaking, told reporters.
Although he didn’t identify the shooting suspect, he indicated police had had previous dealings with him.
According to the Sun, Frances Serrano, who lives directly across the street from where the shooting took place, spoke to the father of the suspected shooter moments before the incident. The father told Serrano that his son, who has mental issues, had a gun and wanted to shoot police officers.
“He came over and asked for help,” she said.
The slain officers were identified as Jose Gilbert Vega, a 35-year veteran of the department who was due to retire in December, and Lesley Zerebny, 27, who had recently returned to duty after giving birth to a daughter four months ago.
A SWAT team is currently looking for the shooter and has surrounded the residence. All neighbors have been asked to shelter in place. The story is developing.