Gunman found guilty of murdering 2 police officers in 2016 shootout at Palm Springs home

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. (KABC) -- A 28-year-old man on Monday was found guilty of the first-degree murder of two Palm Springs police officers who were gunned down by a hail of bullets from an AR-15 rifle during a chaotic barricade situation at the gunman's home in 2016.

A 12-person jury rendered the verdicts against John Hernandez Felix, who was also found guilty in the attempted murders of six other officers.

Felix was charged in the killings of Officer Jose Gilbert "Gil" Vega, a 35-year-veteran of the Police Department, and Officer Lesley Zerebny, a rookie who had recently returned to active duty from maternity leave.

The charges included the special circumstances of murdering a peace officer and committing multiple murders.

The case stems from an incident on Oct. 8, 2016, when Palm Springs police responded to a 911 call of a domestic disturbance at a residence on Cypress Avenue.

"Within minutes after officers arrived and contacted family members inside the home, they were fired upon by Felix, who was using an AR-15 rifle," prosecutors said in a statement.

Vega and Zerebny were killed and six other officers wounded by gunfire in the shootout, authorities said.

Monday's verdicts were announced in a courtroom at Indio's Larson Justice Center that was filled with the victims' family members, friends and law enforcement officers from several agencies.

After being found guilty as charged, Felix is eligible for the death penalty.

The case's penalty phase is scheduled to begin Tuesday morning.
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