Accused Palm Springs Cop Killer Had Stolen Gun

Palm Springs police

On October 12 Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin revealed that Palm Springs cop killer John Felix had an AR-15 “with a scratched-off serial number” and would be charged with possession of a stolen gun.

Moreover, he noted that Felix was barred from possessing any gun because he is a convicted felon.

According to the Desert Sun, Felix allegedly shot through the door of his home with the AR-15 on October 8, striking and killing officers Jose Vega and Lesley Zerebny. A third officer was wounded. All three officers arrived at the home in response to a “family disturbance” call.

Hestrin described the shooting as an “ambush.”  He said that Felix allegedly “wanted to kill police officers,” that he “wanted to gun down police officers because they wore the uniform.”

Felix’s murder charges include an enhancement “for the use of body armor and armor-piercing bullets.” But Hestrin did not say whether any of the rounds actually “pierced the officer’s bulletproof vests.” From the standpoint of terminology, the phrase “armor-piercing bullets” can seem vague when applied to rifle rounds, as almost any round from a popular hunting rifle would pierce a bullet-proof vest. The National Institute of Justice shows five levels of bullet-proof vests, only two of which will stop certain rifle rounds. The majority of the vests offer “no rifle ammunition protection.” This is why the Obama administration’s push to single out one type of ammunition for a ban fell flat in 2015.

Hestrin also would not say whether his office will seek the death penalty for Felix. He said, “the death penalty process involves talking to the family members of the victims and considering their desires.”

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



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