John Hernandez Felix, the alleged cop-killer that Palm Springs police have in custody after a 12-hour standoff, is a known gang member with a history of violent run-ins with law enforcement and arrests, including a four-year sting in prison after an attempt gangland assassination.
As Palm Springs CBS News affiliate KXTV reports:
[Felix] was also the subject of a forceful arrest three years ago at the same doorstep where the shooting occurred.
John Hernandez Felix, 26, was previously arrested as part of a failed murder plot in 2009. Felix and another suspect managed to shoot their target but he didn’t die. Felix was charged with attempted murder, discharging a firearm causing great bodily injury and association with a criminal street gang.
After Felix was released from on those charges, a detective went to his father’s house looking for his brother three years ago and recognized Felix, who was on parole at the time.
In a police report about the event three years ago, the detective said: “I know that John is a member of a criminal street gang and has been involved in multiple shootings. Due to John’s angry and agitated state, and history of violence, I requested dispatch to have an additional unit respond.”
After allegedly scuffling with the detective, Felix was charged with resisting arrested, but the charge was dropped.
That incident, three years ago, happened at the same address where police say John Hernandez Felix lured police on Saturday with a call about a domestic disturbance before gunning down two police officers. One of the officers, Jose Gilbert “Gil” Vega, was a 35-year veteran of the Palm Springs Police Department. The other, Lesley Zerebny, was a rookie and new mother. Vega and Zerebny were the first Palm Springs police officers killed in the line of duty since 1962.
John Hernandez Felix’s father reportedly told a neighbor his son had a gun and was planning to shoot police officers just moments before the shooting occurred.