PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — Two police officers were killed and another was wounded Saturday in a shooting in Palm Springs residential area, according to a source familiar with the incident.
Dozens of law enforcement officers are involved in a search for the shooter or shooters in the are of Cypress and Del Lago roads in Palm Springs. Police are encouraging residents in the area to stay indoors while they conduct an investigation.
At 3:15 p.m. PT, multiple officers in tactical gear were maintaining defensive positions behind a 4-foot concrete wall as if a shooter were still on scene. Several other officers stood close by an armored vehicle.
Witnesses said they heard between 10 and 20 gunshots from what sounded like machine guns. Over a dozen patrol cars, three fire engines and a SWAT truck were at the scene of the incident at 2 p.m. Palm Springs police and San Jacinto police were on scene.
Frances Serrano, who lives directly across the street from where the shooting took place, spoke to the father of the suspected shooter moments before the incident. The father told Serrano that his son, who has mental issues, had a gun and wanted to shoot cops.
“He came over and asked for help,” she said.
Serrano called the police and the father walked back toward his house. Soon after, Serrano heard gunshots. Later police knocked on Serrano’s door.
At 2:45 p.m., Serrano said two officers were on her front patio kneeling on the ground with rifles pointed at the shooter’s house.
Gerardo Barrera was working nearby in the quiet residential area when he heard gun shots.
“I saw a person on the ground,” he said. “Someone kept pumping her chest but she wasn’t moving.”
“It sounded like fireworks at first,” said Juan Garciano, who lives a block from the scene. “I came out of the house and saw police start to block the roads.”