Sheriff Alex Villanueva and LA County District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced the arrest of Deonte Lee Murray at a press conference Wednesday morning at LASD headquarters in downtown LA
Murray, 36, was charged with two counts each of attempted premeditated murder of a peace officer and possession of a firearm by a criminal. His photo is not released to protect the ongoing investigation. He was arrested on Wednesday.
Murray was arrested on September 15, three days after MPs were shot but in connection with an unrelated carjacking and shootout with Compton on September 1, Lacey said. Forensic evidence subsequently linked him to the shooting of the two MPs.
A phantom pistol used to shoot MPs was recovered by investigators, Sheriff’s Captain Kent Wegener told reporters.
Additionally, Murray fled the scene of the MPs shooting in a black Mercedes Benz sedan, the same vehicle Murray hijacked on September 1, Wegener revealed.
On the evening of September 12, the two sheriff’s deputies who were indiscriminately ambushed while sitting in their patrol car in Compton.
MPs were in their patrol vehicle parked outside the Compton Blue Line Metro station at Willowbrook Avenue and Elm Street when a lone suspect approached the front passenger side of the car and opened fire, injuring them both.
The MPs, a 31-year-old mother and her 24-year-old male partner, were rushed to St. Francis Medical Center in critical condition. Both survived and have since been released from the hospital.
In the September 1 hijacking on Bradfield Avenue in Compton, Murray shot a man in the leg with a high powered rifle and stole his Mercedes, Wegener revealed.
Prior to his capture, investigators suspected Murray may have been responsible for both the hijacking and the shooting of MPs.
“The photograph of the hijacking suspect, compared to the image of the suspect in the attempted murder surveillance video, heightened the possibility that he was involved,” Wagener said.
Murray was arrested on September 15 after a 10-hour standoff. At approximately 11:30 am on September 15, detectives located Murray, but he fled in a 2006 Toyota Solara. During the chase, he threw a pistol at the car.
He then ditched the car in the 3100 block of Carlin Avenue in Lynwood and ran. The police have invaded the region. Several hours later, just before 10 p.m., Murray was found hiding in bushes and apprehended, Wagener said.
Meanwhile, the stolen Mercedes Benz was also found nearby.
Wegener said ballistic and forensic evidence from the deputy’s ambush scene tied it to the phantom gun Murray threw from the car during the chase.
“It was determined by ballistic comparison, that the pistol recovered was the pistol used to shoot MPs, further that the pistol was conclusively linked by forensic tests to suspect Deonte Murray,” Wagener said on Wednesday. .
Murray’s phantom pistol was loaded with eight rounds when it was recovered, Wagener said, and the pistol is capable of holding 13. Five shots were fired at the two deputies on the night of the ambush. .
Wagener defended the department’s decision not to immediately lay charges against Murray after his capture, even though detectives suspected he may have been responsible for the ambush fire.
“At the time of Deonte Murray’s arrest on September 15 following the vehicle chase… we had no evidence that he was responsible for the assault on our deputies,” Wagener said.
Wagener also added that publicly identifying him as a suspect may have compromised the investigation.
“There was not enough evidence to justify an arrest, let alone filing an attempted murder complaint against a peace officer and labeling him in the media as the person responsible,” Wagener added. “In addition, drawing public attention to him at this stage of the investigation may have influenced ongoing interviews with witnesses.”
In addition to the charges in the ambush, Murray was also charged with one count of attempted murder in connection with the car theft on September 1, as well as second degree theft and assault with a semi-firearm. -automatic. He also faces allegations of association with a criminal street gang, discharging a gun inflicting serious bodily harm and personal use of a gun.
Murray has a long criminal history which includes convictions for dealing narcotics, possession of firearms by a criminal, burglary and terrorist threats. He faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment if convicted.
Thanks to private donations, the reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the ambush has been estimated at over $ 700,000.