RIVERSIDE, Calif. (Reuters) – The man accused of fatally shooting two police officers and wounding a third in Palm Springs, California, over the weekend has been formally charged with murder and attempted murder, prosecutors said on Wednesday.
The suspect, John Felix, 26, would be eligible for the death penalty if convicted as charged, but prosecutors said they would decide at a later date whether to seek capital punishment.
The two officers slain on Saturday were the first killed in the line of duty in 54 years in Palm Springs, a normally placid desert resort town about 100 miles (161 km) east of Los Angeles.
One was a 63-year-old veteran of the Palm Springs police force who planned to retire in December and the other a 27-year-old rookie officer who had just returned to duty from maternity leave.
They were shot through the front door of a home as they responded to a report of a family disturbance at the address. Felix, who surrendered to police early on Sunday after an hours-long standoff at the house, was previously convicted in 2010 of assault with a firearm, according toCalifornia criminal records.
Felix is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday in the double police killing.