2 held in Cathedral City cop’s death

CATHEDRAL CITY — Palm Springs police have yet to give out the names of two hospitalized suspects who reportedly caused the death of a Cathedral City police officer early Saturday morning.

Officer Jermaine Gibson, 29, was killed when he lost control of his squad car during a high speed pursuit that led him into Palm Springs.

Two suspects, one in critical condition, were taken to Desert Regional Medical Center. On Monday, police had still not released the names of the suspects.

“It’s an ongoing investigation, so we’re not in a position to give those names out yet,” said Palm Springs police Sgt. Bryan Anderson, whose department is handling the investigation.

The incident began just before midnight Friday, when Gibson attempted to pull over a black Ford Mustang he saw speeding down Date Palm Drive, police said. The car, it was learned by police during the pursuit, was stolen.

Gibson was leading the chase ahead of two other Cathedral City police cars, all in pursuit of the black Mustang, which was being driven by a wanted parolee, according to Cathedral City police Lt. Chuck Robinson.

The pursuit continued northbound on Palm Canyon Drive, which is the main road in downtown Palm Springs. Gibson, according to reports, lost control of his car and crashed into a palm tree south of Mesquite Avenue. Upon impact, his patrol car burst into flames.

Gibson, a former Marine, was pronounced dead at the scene. The two suspects were taken into custody.

Gibson lived with his wife Jessica and 4-week-old son, Jermaine Jr., in Beaumont, a community located 30 miles from Cathedral City. He had been in law enforcement for three years and on Cathedral City’s police force for 18 months.

In a statement on Sunday, Attorney General Kamala Harris expressed her condolences over the “valiant” police officer’s death, noting Gibson’s two tours of Iraq, which resulted in the awarding of a Purple Heart.

“His tragic passing is a great loss to his family, his fellow officers, and to the people of California,” Harris said. “Let us all remember him and his dedication to protecting his fellow countrymen. On behalf of the California Department of Justice, I send our deepest condolences to his young family, his friends, his fellow officers and the entire law enforcement community.”

Gibson’s colleagues are now watching his death investigation unfold in a neighboring city.

“Both of the suspects are still in the hospital. There will be criminal charges that follow when they are released,” said Cathedral City police Sgt. Paul Herrera said. “The case is in (Palm Springs’) jurisdiction, so we’ll follow their lead.”

2 held in Cathedral City cop’s death was last modified: March 23rd, 2011 by admin
Categories: Riverside

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Lee Brown

Obrey "Lee" Brown has worked for 10 newspapers and magazines in the Bay Area, central and southern California. In 2005, he wrote "A Citrus Test: Football in Black & White." He can be reached at baseballOLB@hotmail.com.

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