PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - News Channel 3's Karen Devine speaks with several Palm Springs police officers and their wives to discuss how life has changed since the shooting deaths of officers Jose "Gil" Vega and Lesley Zerebny.
Tune in Wednesday evening at 7:00 pm for a 30-minute special report on that tragic day, "In the Line of Duty, One Year Later". Below is a preview of Karen's interview with several Palm Springs police officers and their wives
“When you hear something like that out of the radio it gives you the chills,” said Palm Springs police Sgt. Mike Casavan.
Sgt. Casavan is talking about the day he heard the radio call that officers in his department had been hit by gunfire.
Six palm springs police officers sat down with Karen nearly one year after the brutal shooting deaths of two of their own, officers Jose "Gil" Vega and Lesley Zerebny.
“Once I found out who the officers involved were, I went to the hospital, some of the officers went to the scene directly to assist with other duties,” said Sgt.Mike Villegas.
Detective Chris Jaeger was working at Desert Trip when Zerebny and Vega were killed. He said he knew in his gut when he heard the call on the radio that officers were down that the situation was going to be bad.
Christine Ardener, the wife of a Palm Springs police officer, was afraid to let her husband go.
"He got ready, he said "I'm going in" and I just dropped to my knees and I said you can't go in, I was so upset, so emotional, but this is our calling so I knew he had to go," said Christine Ardener, wife of Detective Jaeger.
Her husband, Officer Rhett Arden, said tragedies like those take time to process.
“I don’t think coming to work for this agency, you don’t think it’s ever going to happen to your department. I think there’s sometime when you don’t believe it," Officer Arden said.
In the hour Karen Devine spent talking with officers about their loss and dealing with their own grief while still on the job, they all admitted it’s been difficult. The officers told Karen that the community outpouring of love and support has been instrumental in helping them to move forward.
“It was something for me that was totally unexpected that truly surprised me and it was a godsend at a time that we were all broken," said Sgt Villegas.
Tune in "In the Line of Duty, One Year Later" Wednesday at 7:00 pm for the full interviews and more stories, as we look back on the anniversary of the killings of Vega and Zerebny.