Memorial service held for fallen Palm Springs officers Jose Vega, Lesley Zerebny

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Memorial services were held Tuesday for two fallen Palm Springs police officers who were gunned down in the line of duty earlier this month. (KABC)

Memorial services were held Tuesday for two fallen Palm Springs police officers who were gunned down in the line of duty earlier this month.

About 10,000 people gathered in honor of 27-year-old Lesley Zerebny and her partner, 63-year-old Jose "Gil" Vega at the Palm Springs Convention Center.

The slain officers were transported to the convention center on separate procession routes. Vega was brought from the Forest Lawn Mortuary in Cathedral City and Zerebny from the Ramona Bowl Amphitheater in Hemet.

VIDEO: Memorial held for slain Palm Springs officers
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A memorial service was held for fallen Palm Springs officers Jose Vega and Lesley Zerebny.

Gov. Jerry Brown and state Attorney General Kamala Harris attended the event, along with hundreds of law enforcement officials from across the nation.

Much of the Palm Springs community also came out to honor the officers, including one woman who left the hospital to attend.

"I felt my participation was my way to honor what (Vega) has done for so many of us," Teresa Ball said.

Vega and Zerebny were shot and killed after responding to a family disturbance call at a Palm Springs home on Oct. 8.

PHOTOS: 2 officers killed, 1 injured in Palm Springs shooting

The alleged shooter, 26-year-old John Hernandez Felix, was arrested by Riverside County sheriff's deputies after a 12-hour standoff at his home.

He faces felony charges including murder and attempted murder, and special circumstances allegations that could make him eligible for the death penalty.

The district attorney's office has not yet decided whether to seek his execution.

Vega was with the department for 35 years and had plans to retire in December. He is survived by his wife and children, including young daughter Vanessa Vega, who spoke at the memorial service.

His nephew also spoke and recalled the first time he rode with his uncle in a patrol car - but it wasn't for a good reason.

"First, let me say I was less terrified about being in a police car and more terrified that one of my family elders was screaming at me in Spanish," Andrew Vega said. "Because when you're raised Mexican, you know that when they switch to Spanish you are in deep trouble."

Zerebny was with the department for a year and a half. She leaves behind her husband, who is a Riverside County sheriff's deputy, and her 4-month-old daughter Cora.

"Lesley was a wonderful mother. She loved Cora endlessly," one officer said.

Zerebny loved the Canadian Tenors, and a family member was able to get the group to head out to the memorial and sing in her honor.

A graveside service for Vega followed the service at the Coachella Valley Public Cemetery.

A private graveside service was held for Zerebny at a private location that was open only to family members.
Related Topics:
newsofficer killedofficer injuredshootingmemorialfuneralofficer-involved shootingpolice shootinggun violencePalm SpringsRiverside County
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