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The Latest: Family recalls example set by slain officer

Members of the Palm Springs Police Department walk into the convention center for the services of Palm Springs officers Jose "Gil" Vega and Lesley Zerebny, the two officers who were killed in the line of duty earlier this month, Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016. (Jay Calderon/The Desert Sun via AP)
October 18, 2016 - 12:40 PM

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - The Latest on the memorial for two slain Palm Springs police officers (all times local):

12:35 p.m.

Relatives of the Palm Springs police officers shot to death in what authorities have called an ambush have shared memories of their loved ones before a crowd of thousands.

Nephew Andrew Vega said Tuesday his 63-year-old uncle Officer Jose "Gil" Vega was born into poverty and dedicated his life to bettering the world around him, giving a positive role model for him and other young Latinos.

Authorities say Vega and 27-year-old Officer Lesley Zerebny died Oct. 8 after a gang member fired an assault rifle through a metal screen door as they responded to a domestic disturbance call.

Nearly 10,000 mourners and law enforcement officers from cities in California and elsewhere attended the memorial at the Palm Springs Convention Center.

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11:35 a.m.

A memorial service is underway for two Palm Springs police officers who were shot to death while responding to a domestic disturbance call at the home of an ex-convict.

Uniformed officers from cities across California and the country are attending Tuesday's service for 63-year-old Officer Jose "Gil" Vega and 27-year-old Officer Lesley Zerebny.

At least 10,000 are expected at the memorial, including California Gov. Jerry Brown.

Authorities say Vega and Zerebny died Oct. 8 in an ambush when a gang member fired an assault rifle through a metal screen door.

Suspect John Felix has pleaded not guilty to murder charges.

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10:40 a.m.

Mourners are pouring into the Palm Springs Convention Center for a memorial service for two police officers shot to death while responding to a domestic disturbance call.

The Press-Enterprise of Riverside reports that uniformed police officers from a spate of cities lined up Tuesday to attend the service for 63-year-old Officer Jose "Gil" Vega and 27-year-old Officer Lesley Zerebny.

A large American flag was draped outside the centre, where at least 10,000 are expected to attend the memorial, including California Gov. Jerry Brown.

Authorities say Vega and Zerebny died Oct. 8 in an ambush when a gang member fired an assault rifle through a metal screen door.

Suspect John Felix has pleaded not guilty to murder charges.

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8:45 a.m.

A procession is underway for one of the two Palm Springs police officers killed while responding to a domestic disturbance call at the family home of an ex-convict.

The Palm Springs Police Department's Twitter page says a procession began early Tuesday for Officer Lesley Zerebny from Hemet to the Palm Springs Convention Center where thousands are expected to gather for a memorial service.

A procession for Officer Jose "Gil" Vega is expected to begin later Tuesday morning in Cathedral City.

Authorities say 63-year-old Vega and 27-year-old Zerebny were killed Oct. 8 when gang member John Felix opened fire on them with an assault rifle through a metal screen door.

The killings have rocked the tight-knit resort community 100 miles east of Los Angeles.

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11:20 p.m.

A memorial service will be held for two Palm Springs police officers shot to death when responding to a domestic disturbance call at the home of the family of an ex-convict.

Officers Jose "Gil" Vega and Lesley Zerebny will be honoured at a service Tuesday in the Palm Springs Convention Center before they are laid to rest.

Authorities say the officers were killed Oct. 8 when 26-year-old ex-convict John Felix opened fire on them with an assault rifle through a metal screen door.

The deaths of 63-year-old Vega and 27-year-old Zerebny rocked the tight-knit community 100 miles east of Los Angeles. Residents have left bouquets, balloons and notes outside the police station and have been selling T-shirts to raise money for the officers' families.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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