SWAT Team Detained Palm Springs Shooting Suspect with ‘Less-than-Lethal’ Force

Palm Springs police

During an Oct. 9 press conference on the shooting deaths of Palm Springs police officers Jose Gilbert Vega and Lesley Zerebny, Riverside County Sheriff’s Office indicated that suspect John Felix was apprehended via “less than lethal” force.

The Desert Sun posted video of the press conference, in which Riverside Chief Deputy Ray Wood described the SWAT team response to the shooting of the officers. He said Felix was holed up in a home–which was his house of residence–and the SWAT team set up a parameter around the home at 5 pm Saturday.

SWAT “deployed chemical agents inside the residence” after spending hours in an unsuccessful attempt to establish communications with the suspect. Felix exited the rear of the home once chemical agents were deployed, but refused to comply with officer demands. SWAT then used “less than lethal” force to bring him into compliance and, finally, to apprehend him.

Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestin said Monday is a court holiday, so criminal charges will be filed against Felix on Tuesday. He said, “We will be filing two counts of first degree murder, and at least two special circumstances: one being multiple murder, one being murder of a police officer in the line of duty.” Hestin made clear more charges may be forthcoming as the investigation continues and he also pointed out that Felix is a candidate for the death penalty.

He said the “determination of whether or not to pursue the death penalty” will happen within two to three weeks.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Felix “was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon after an initial charge of attempted murder in 2009. Prosecutors at the time accused him of being a member of a criminal gang. He was sentenced to two years in prison. In 2013, he was accused of resisting arrest with Palm Springs police on the same street where Saturday’s shooting occurred. He pleaded guilty to a count of malicious noise.”

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com.