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Palm Springs police officers escort 8-year-old daughter of fallen colleague after the father-of-seven was shot and killed in the line of duty 

  • Officers lined outside Vanessa Vega's California home on Monday morning
  • Hugged the little girl and walked with her all the way into her classroom
  • Jose Vega, 63, was shot and killed on a disturbance call earlier this month
  • Married father-of-eight was a 35-year veteran ready to retire in December
  • Vanessa's touching speech during his funeral got her a standing ovation  

By Clemence Michallon For Dailymail.com

Published: 10:34 EST, 25 October 2016 | Updated: 12:15 EST, 25 October 2016

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Palm Springs officers rallied on Monday to take the eight-year-old daughter of their fallen colleague to school.

At least 13 of them lined outside Vanessa Vega's California home on her first day back to school since her father's death. They hugged her as she came out carrying her backpack and walked with her all the way to her classroom.

Vanessa's father, Jose Vega, was killed earlier this month aged 63 while responding to a disturbance call. He was fatally shot along with fellow officer Lesley Zerebny, 27, who had just returned from maternity leave and had a four-month old daughter.

Vega left behind a wife and eight children, of which Vanessa is the youngest. He had plans to retire in December after 35 years in the force.

Vanessa Vega, eight, the daughter of a fallen Palm Springs officer, was escorted to school by some of her father's colleagues on Monday (pictured) Vanessa Vega, eight, the daughter of a fallen Palm Springs officer, was escorted to school by some of her father's colleagues on Monday (pictured)

Vanessa Vega, eight, the daughter of a fallen Palm Springs officer, was escorted to school by some of her father's colleagues on Monday (pictured)

At least 13 officers lined outside Vanessa's California home and hugged her as she came out carrying her backpack (pictured), ready for her school run At least 13 officers lined outside Vanessa's California home and hugged her as she came out carrying her backpack (pictured), ready for her school run

At least 13 officers lined outside Vanessa's California home and hugged her as she came out carrying her backpack (pictured), ready for her school run

Jose Vega (pictured), 63, who had seven other children in addition to Vanessa, and fellow officer Lesley Zerebny, 27, were shot and killed earlier this month while responding to a call Jose Vega (pictured), 63, who had seven other children in addition to Vanessa, and fellow officer Lesley Zerebny, 27, were shot and killed earlier this month while responding to a call
Zerebny (pictured) had just returned from maternity leave and had a four-month old daughter Zerebny (pictured) had just returned from maternity leave and had a four-month old daughter

Jose Vega (left), 63, who had seven other children in addition to Vanessa, and fellow officer Lesley Zerebny, 27, were shot and killed earlier this month while responding to a call

His colleagues were pictured outside of Vanessa's home on Monday morning, lining up as the little girl came out to head to school.

Vanessa, Vega's youngest daughter, chatted with them as they walked to school, then smiled as she posed with the officers in her classroom.

'She will remember the support and love when she's an adult. Wonderful,' someone wrote on Facebook after the police department shared photos of the school run.

Vega and Zerebny responded to a home around 12.15pm two weeks ago after a woman called and said her adult son was causing a disturbance, Chief Bryan Reyes told KTLA.  

Vanessa, Vega's youngest daughter, chatted with the officers as they walked to school, then smiled as she posed with the officers in her classroom Vanessa, Vega's youngest daughter, chatted with the officers as they walked to school, then smiled as she posed with the officers in her classroom

Vanessa, Vega's youngest daughter, chatted with the officers as they walked to school, then smiled as she posed with the officers in her classroom

The special escort (pictured) came two weeks after Vega died. He had plans to retire in December and was working an overtime shift when he was killed The special escort (pictured) came two weeks after Vega died. He had plans to retire in December and was working an overtime shift when he was killed

The special escort (pictured) came two weeks after Vega died. He had plans to retire in December and was working an overtime shift when he was killed

Someone commented on Facebook, where the police department shared pictures of the officers' gesture on Monday, that Vanessa would remember their support as an adult Someone commented on Facebook, where the police department shared pictures of the officers' gesture on Monday, that Vanessa would remember their support as an adult

Someone commented on Facebook, where the police department shared pictures of the officers' gesture on Monday, that Vanessa would remember their support as an adult

The officers took Vanessa all the way inside her classroom and the little girl smiled as she posed with them for a final photo on Monday morning The officers took Vanessa all the way inside her classroom and the little girl smiled as she posed with them for a final photo on Monday morning

The officers took Vanessa all the way inside her classroom and the little girl smiled as she posed with them for a final photo on Monday morning

'The officers, from what I understand, were at the front trying to negotiate with the suspect to just comply. It was a simple family disturbance and he elected to open fire on guardians of this city,' Reyes said.

Accused gunman John Felix (pictured), 26, has been charged with first-degree murder Accused gunman John Felix (pictured), 26, has been charged with first-degree murder

Accused gunman John Felix (pictured), 26, has been charged with first-degree murder

Vega was working overtime when he was killed. 

Accused gunman John Felix, 26, has been charged with first-degree murder. 

He was armed and arguing with family members, according to authorities.

Vega and Zerebny arrived  were talking to Felix through a metal screen door and telling him to step outside when he shot the officers with an assault rifle, without provocation or warning, police said.

Felix, a convicted felon, cannot legally own or possess any firearm under California law, according to the police department.

Vanessa spoke during her father's memorial service last week. 

Her touching speech, in which she called Vega a 'good cop', got a standing ovation.

She recounted how her father had taught her everything, such as 'baseball, karate and running' - but said he was 'very slow' as she got faster, KTLA reported.  

'Even though we can't see him doesn't mean he can't see us,' Vanessa said at the memorial service. 'He's at peace now.'

Vanessa spoke during her father's memorial service (pictured), calling her a 'good cop' and recounting how he had taught her baseball, karate and running Vanessa spoke during her father's memorial service (pictured), calling her a 'good cop' and recounting how he had taught her baseball, karate and running

Vanessa spoke during her father's memorial service (pictured), calling her a 'good cop' and recounting how he had taught her baseball, karate and running

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