October 9, 2016 / 2:32 PM / a year ago

Suspect arrested in fatal shooting of two California police officers

(Reuters) - Police arrested a suspect early on Sunday in the fatal shooting of two officers and the wounding of a third in Palm Springs, California, after an hours-long standoff that began with a report of a family dispute.

John Felix, 26, was taken into custody just after midnight at the home in Palm Springs where the officers were shot on Saturday afternoon.

Four officers came under fire soon after arriving at the residence in response to a call from a woman who said her son was causing a disturbance, police said.

Two police officers, Jose Vega, a 35-year veteran, and Lesley Zerebny, 27, were killed, and another officer, who authorities declined to identify, suffered non-life threatening injuries.

Felix was treated at a hospital after his arrest. He will be booked on two counts of murder, according to a police press release.

“It was a simple family disturbance and he elected to open fire on a few of the guardians of this city,” Palm Springs Police Chief Bryan Reyes said at a news conference on Saturday.

After the shooting, dozens of police rushed to the scene in a residential neighborhood of Palm Springs, a desert town 105 miles east of Los Angeles.

Backed by an armored vehicle, officers in tactical gear set up positions outside the home where the suspect had barricaded himself and continued to fire shots.

Residents in adjacent homes were evacuated and local media later showed robots being deployed in the area.

A neighbor, Juan Graciano, 67, said on Saturday that he heard angry shouting between a father and son who live at the residence before the older man emerged from the home, crossed the street and asked another neighbor to call for help.

Reporting by Gina Cherelus in New York; Additional reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Bill Trott

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