What happens when you refer to police as “terrorists” and advocate killing them?
You inspire a John Felix, whose father told a neighbor his son wanted to shoot police just minutes before the 26-year-old Palm Springs resident suddenly pulled a gun and murdered two police officers.
In the minutes before three Palm Springs officers were shot, two fatally, the suspected gunman’s father told a neighbor his son was armed, “acting crazy” and wanted to shoot police.
John Felix, 26, was apprehended early Sunday after a lengthy standoff and faces charges including two counts of murder on a peace officer.
Police said Felix suddenly pulled out a gun and opened fire on the officers who had responded to a family disturbance call Saturday afternoon at the home in a quiet neighborhood of this desert resort city.
A neighbor, Frances Serrano, told The Associated Press that the suspect’s panicked father, Santos Felix, said his son, an admitted gang member, had a gun.
“My son is inside and we’re scared, he’s acting crazy,” Serrano said the older Felix told her. When it was suggested they call the police he said, “Yeah, he already knows they are coming, and he is going to shoot them.”
Serrano said she went back inside her house and within minutes police cars arrived and gunfire erupted.
Palm Springs police Chief Bryan Reyes identified the slain officers as Jose “Gil” Gilbert Vega and Lesley Zerebny.
Zerebny, 27, had been with the department for about 18 months and recently returned from maternity leave after giving birth to a daughter. Vega, a married father of eight, was a 35-year veteran who planned to retire in December. He had been working overtime Saturday on his scheduled day off.
The wounded officer’s name was not released.
Police arrested Felix, who was taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening.
Reyes indicated police had had previous dealings with the suspect, but declined to elaborate.
Court records show Felix is a gang member who was previously sentenced to four years in prison in a failed murder plot in 2009. Documents cited by the Desert Sun newspaper (http://desert.sn/2dCyJV8) reveal Felix was charged with attempted murder but pleaded down to assault with a firearm and admitted his gang connection.
Documents also show Felix was the subject of a forceful arrest three years ago at the same house where Saturday’s shootings occurred.
Felix is exactly the kind of thug that would be inspired by the BLM chant “Pigs in a blanket; fry’em like bacon,” which was heard during several BLM demonstrations and protests over the last year. In addition to constantly referring to police as “terrorists,” BLM members have accused police of deliberately targeting black men for death.
This kind of incendiary rhetoric has consequences, as we’ve seen in Dallas and elsewhere. Emotions are already running high in black communities across the country and BLM is only throwing gasoline on the fire with their exaggerated, hysterical rhetoric.