Accused killer of two California police officers charged with murder
- Wall Street again marks new highs in post-election run
- Broadcom Ltd. (AVGO) Tops Q4 EPS by 11c
- Restoration Hardware (RH) Tops Q3 EPS by 4c; Guides Well Below the Street
- Unusual 11 Mid-Day Movers 12/8: (COOL) (TLRD) (DRAM) Higher; (SHIP) (OHRP) (MLSS) Lower
- After-Hours Stock Movers 12/08: (FNSR) (AVGO) (GLPG) Higher; (XTLY) (RH) (DLTH) Lower (more...)
REFILE - TYPOA photograph of suspect John Felix (L) is displayed at a news conference as members of the law enforcement community stand near a photo of slain Palm Springs Police officer Lesley Zerebny (R) following the Saturday shooting deaths of Zerebny
Get instant alerts when news breaks on your stocks. Claim your 2-week free trial to StreetInsider Premium here.
By Tori Richards
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (Reuters) - The man accused of fatally shooting two police officers and wounding a third in Palm Springs, California, over the weekend was formally charged on Wednesday with murder and attempted murder in what prosecutors described as an ambush attack.
The suspect, John Felix, 26, would be eligible for the death penalty if convicted as charged, but Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin said he would decide later whether to seek capital punishment.
The two officers slain on Saturday, the latest of several cut down in a string of ambush-style attacks on police across the country in recent months, were the first killed in the line of duty in 54 years in Palm Springs, a normally placid desert resort town about 100 miles (160 km) east of Los Angeles.
One was a 63-year-old veteran of the Palm Beach police force who planned to retire in December and the other a 27-year-old rookie officer who had just returned to duty from maternity leave.
They were shot through the closed front door of a home as they responded to a report of a family disturbance at the address, prompting a gunfight between police and the suspect that stretched into a 12-hour-long standoff, according to authorities.
"This individual knew what he was doing. He was deliberate in his actions and attacked these officers for no reason other than they were coming to a call," Hestrin said. "I would describe this as an ambush. These police officers walked into a trap."
Felix, who also was injured during the confrontation, surrendered to police early the next morning.
In addition to two counts of murder, he was charged with three counts of attempted murder - one each for three other officers involved in the shootout, including one who was wounded by gunfire. That officer was treated at a hospital and released.
Felix also was charged with various weapons offenses, including unlawful possession of a weapon by a convicted felon. California criminal records show he previously served time in prison for assault with a firearm.
Authorities said Felix was armed with a stolen assault-style rifle, used armor-piercing ammunition and wore body armor at the time of Saturday's incident.
He was scheduled to appear in court on Thursday for an arraignment.
Hestrin, appearing at a news conference to announce the charges, declined to comment on a possible motive for the shooting.
(Reporting by Tori Richards in Riverside; Writing by Steve Gorman; editing by Grant McCool and Jonathan Oatis)
Serious News for Serious Traders! Try StreetInsider.com Premium Free!
You May Also Be Interested In
- Climate refugees in South Asia need protection, advocates say
- Estonia says 'encouraged' by Trump administration's tone on NATO
- Casino stocks fall after report of ATM cash withdrawal limit in Macau
Create E-mail Alert Related CategoriesReuters
Sign up for StreetInsider Free!
Receive full access to all new and archived articles, unlimited portfolio tracking, e-mail alerts, custom newswires and RSS feeds - and more!