Family, Community Mourn Loss of Slain Palm Springs Police Officers

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Lesley Zerebny returned to work early to help out after giving birth to her daughter, now 4 months old. She’d been an officer with the city’s Police Department for just 1½ years.

The Palm Springs community mourns along with the family of slain Officer Jose “Gil” Vega during the memorial. (Credit: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times)

The Palm Springs community mourns along with the family of slain Officer Jose “Gil” Vega during the memorial. (Credit: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times)

Officer Jose “Gil" Vega had submitted his paperwork to retire in December after a 35-year career with the department. Vega, the father of eight children, wasn’t scheduled to work Saturday but had picked up an overtime shift.

Photos: Vigil for Palm Springs police officers

Zerebny, 27, and Vega, 63, were killed Saturday in a shooting that has drawn an outpouring of support from this desert community and shaken a small Police Department that hadn’t lost an officer in the line of duty in more than five decades. The gunman was arrested early Sunday.

Palm Springs Police Chief Bryan Reyes’ voice quavered at a news conference hours later as he described watching Zerebny’s husband, a Riverside County sheriff's deputy, say goodbye to his wife.

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