A group of California mothers are taking it upon themselves to help a 4-month-old baby whose police officer mother was shot and killed in Palm Springs on Oct. 8.
Lesley Zerebny, 27, was responding to a domestic disturbance call when she was shot, along with two fellow officers, according to The Associated Press. She had been with the Palm Springs Police Department for a year and a half and had just returned to duty following maternity leave.
On Oct. 11, more than 500 ounces of breast milk were donated to Zerebny’s family, according to KTVU. It came from a group of women from Northern California’s Monterey area and the milk will be screened and tested before it is given to Zerebny’s 4-month-old daughter, Cora.
The effort was led by a woman identified only as Ashley, who saw a call for prayers on social media and inquired about whether the family could make use of donated breast milk. She was told that yes, it could be helpful, and within a day, a month’s worth of milk was delivered in coolers.
Ashley told KTVU she “just wanted to do a good thing in a bad situation.”
The Palm Springs Police Officers Association indicated that if more people are looking to help, they should send Enfamil baby formula to the department.
The man suspected of killing Zerenby, 26-year-old John Felix, was apprehended later, following a shootout with police, reports AP. He is expected to be charged with the murders of Zerebny and her partner, Jose Gilbert Vega, a 35-year veteran of the force who was set to retire soon.
Zerebny and Vega were speaking with Felix through a screen door at his home when he suddenly opened fire with an assault rifle. A third officer who was hit is recovering from his injuries after being treated at a nearby hospital.
The incident marked the first time since 1962 that a Palm Springs police officer has been killed in the line of duty.
Memorial services for Zerebny and Vega are scheduled for Oct. 18.