On Saturday, three police officers were shot in Palm Springs, California, by a suspect who remains at large. It is being reported that the suspect may have been specifically targeting police.
Here are five important facts that you need to know about this tragic incident:
1. The shooting occurred on Saturday afternoon, the latest in a string of shootings that have occurred as tensions continue to increase between police and communities.
The suspect has been arrested and identified as John Hernandez Felix, 26, of Palm Springs. Felix is an admitted gang member with a violent criminal history. He is accused of gunning down two Palm Springs police officers, one of them a young mother and the other a veteran officer and father of eight.
3 Palm Springs police officers shot, manhunt ongoing https://t.co/Tg6D9dFmun
— Cook (@crookitman) October 8, 2016
According to the Los Angeles Times, Felix was charged with attempted murder in 2009. He was ultimately convicted of assault with a deadly weapon and was sentenced to four years in prison. in 2013, he was accused of resisting arrest and pleaded guilty to malicious noise.
The 2009 charges against Felix were based on an “attempted gangland assassination.”
2. Witnesses say that they heard multiple bullets fired — between 10 and 20 gunshots — from what they said sounded like machine guns. Over a dozen patrol cars, three fire engines and a SWAT truck were at the scene of the incident at 2 p.m.
Both Palm Springs police and San Jacinto police were on scene. Felix was captured after a 12 hour search and manhunt and has been booked on two counts of murder.
3. Jeff Nguyen of KCAL9 reported that he had received word from police that the suspect was targeting police.
Just got off the phone with witness in PS Shooting who says she called 911 after neighbor said his son had a gun and wanted to shoot police.
— Jeff Nguyen (@jeffnguyen) October 8, 2016
According to another report, the suspect’s father said that his son had mental issues and wanted to shoot cops.
— Adrienne Alpert (@abc7adrienne) October 8, 2016
4. There are some reports that the officers were responding to a family disturbance call.
— M. Jennings (@RealFriscoKid) October 8, 2016
CBS News reported similar facts — that the officers may have been responding to a family disturbance call when the shooting occurred.
5. The most current information is that two of the officers who were shot have since died. The suspect remains at large and a massive manhunt is underway.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the scene remains active, with the suspect at large and SWAT teams aggressively searching.