Man Arrested in Ambush Shooting of Two Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

Authorities in Los Angeles have arrested and charged a man for the ambush shooting of two L.A. County sheriff’s deputies earlier this month.

Deonte Lee Murray, 36, was charged Wednesday with attempting to murder the two deputies as they sat in their police cruiser outside the Martin Luther King, Jr. Transit Center in Compton, according to the L.A. District Attorney’s office. He also faces two counts each of willful, deliberate, and premeditated attempted murder of a peace officer and possession of a firearm by a felon.

DA Jackie Lacey spoke during a press conference Wednesday announcing the charges. “Too often we take for granted the inherent danger present whenever a law enforcement officer reports for work,” she said.

Prosecutors are recommending bail be set at $6.15 million, according to the DA’s office. If convicted as charged, the defendant faces a possible maximum sentence of life in state prison.

Murray was arrested three days after the September 12 shooting but for a separate carjacking and shooting incident that took place on September 1. For that incident, he is facing one felony count each of carjacking, second-degree robbery, and assault with a semiautomatic firearm.

The suspect faces an additional count each of attempted murder in connection with the carjacking and possession of a firearm by a felon.

L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said during Wednesday’s press conference that video surveillance and interviews led authorities to learn that the suspect fled the shooting in a black Mercedes sedan. They later learned that the car he allegedly stole in the carjacking incident was the same color and make.

Murray was arrested on September 15 following a police pursuit in which he allegedly threw a gun out of the window of his car. That gun was identified as the same weapon he allegedly used to shoot the two deputies, according to Villanueva.

The sheriff said that the investigation is still ongoing and that interview and line-ups could be a part of that process. As a result, no photos have been released of the suspect. He identified Murray as a black male.

On September 12, Murray allegedly walked up to the two sheriff’s cruiser and opened fire. He then fled the scene. Both deputies sustained multiple wounds, including shots to the head, but survived the attack. As Breitbart News reported, one of the officers, Claudia Apolinar, helped her partner to safety and applied first aid just after the shooting.

The ambush was captured on grainy surveillance video.

The DA’s office said the suspect faces allegations of association with a criminal street gang but did not name the gang in question.

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