Three Palm Springs police officers have been shot according to a statement by the Palm Springs Police Department that confirmed the wounded cops are hospitalized. Two of the officers were pronounced dead at the hospital while the third officer remains hospitalized.
Palm Springs POA (@PalmSpringsPOA) October 8, 2016
The police have yet to apprehend the culprit responsible for the shooting with a manhunt ongoing hours after the horrific shooting.
Raven*H⚓️U*Wolf (@RavenHUWolf) October 8, 2016
Witnesses said that they heard as many as 20 gunshots from what sounded like machine guns at approximately 2:00 PM Pacific Time. Palm Spring and San Jacinto police rushed to scene along with the fire department, EMS and SWAT trucks in an attempt to contain the situation and to provided life-saving aide to the officers.
One of the witnesses, Gerardo Barrera told the local newspaper The Desert Sun that "I saw a person on the ground. Someone kept pumping her chest but she wasn't moving."
"It sounded like fireworks at first," said another witness Juan Garciano. "I came out of the house and saw police start to block the roads."
Police Sargent Hutchinson said that the officers were shot after responding to a "family disturbance" call and that the shooter remains on the loose.
It is unknown at this time what the motives of the shooter was or whether the cops were the intended target of the shooting, but the nature of the weapon (machine gun) and the number of officers wounded suggests that there was a direct intention to wound or kill the police officers on the scene.
According to one of the witnesses the shooter's father said that his son wanted to kill police officers.
The police have identified the officers killed in the shooting — the first is Jose Gil Vega, a 35-year veteran of the Palm Springs police force who was set to retire in two months. The other officer who was killed in the shooting was a 27-year-old mother of two, Leslie Zerebny.
Kim Baldonado (@KimNBCLA) October 8, 2016
The suspect responsible for the shooting appears to be barricaded in a house with police and SWAT units responding to a residence in response to the deadly shooting incident.