Officer Jose ‘Gil’ VegaPalm Springs Police Department
End of Watch: Saturday, October 8, 2016
Tour: 35 years
Badge: # P538
Incident Date: 10/8/2016
Weapon: Rifle; AR-15
Police Officer Gil Vega and Police Officer Lesley Zerebny were shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance call in the 2700 block of Cypress Road shortly after noon.
A family member from the home had gone to a neighbor’s house and and stated that his son was armed and wanted to shoot police officers. Responding officers, including Officer Vega and Officer Zerebny, arrived at the scene several minutes later. The man inside the home opened fire on them as they approached the front door, killing Officer Vega and Officer Zerebny and wounding a third officer.
The man then barricaded himself inside the home for approximately 12 hours. He was taken into custody by members of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team. The subject was an admitted gang member.
Officer Vega had served with the Palm Springs Police Department for 35 years and was scheduled to retire only two months after his murder. He was working an overtime shift on the day he was murdered. He is survived by his wife and eight children.