Two police officers were fatally shot and a third was wounded in Palm Springs, California, Police Chief Bryan Reyes told media Saturday.
Reyes said the suspect remains at large, but he may be hiding in the house to which the officers had initially responded.
Officers have surrounded the house in question. Reyes asked residents to avoid live-streaming the scene on social media, so as to avoid giving away their movements.
“Understand we are looking for a cop murderer,” he said.
The deceased officers, Jose Gilbert Vega and Lesley Zerebny, along with the third, unidentified officer, had been responding to a family-disturbance call when the suspect opened fire.
“Today Palm Springs lost two brave officers,” Reyes said. “I am awake in a nightmare right now.”
Vega was a 35-year veteran of the police department who was set to retire in December, and Zerebny was a 27-year-old mother who had recently returned to duty after giving birth, Reyes said. The other wounded officer is alert and doing well, he added.
Police sent out a “code red alert” to residents and were working on evacuations for several blocks, public information officer Sgt. William Hutchinson told media earlier Saturday afternoon.
Other residents were asked by police to stay inside, and not open their doors for anyone.