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Gang Member Arrested For Ambush Shooting Of 2 LA County Deputies

Los Angeles, CA – The suspect believed to have gunned down two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies on Sept. 12 as they sat in a patrol vehicle at Metro has been arrested.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced the arrest of 36-year-old Deonte Lee Murray at a press conference on Wednesday, KTTV reported.

Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey said Murray was charged with two counts each of willful, deliberate, and premeditated attempted murder of a peace officer and possession of a firearm by a felon.

“They became victims of a violent crime for one reason: They were doing their job and they were wearing a badge,” Lacey said and sent her best wishes to the wounded deputies, KTTV reported.

Prosecutors have recommended that the would-be cop killer’s bail be set at $6.15 million when he is arraigned on Sept. 30.

If he is convicted on all charges, Murray will face life in prison for his crimes, KTTV reported.

Authorities have said they do not have a concrete motive for the shooting of the deputies, “other than the fact that he obviously hates policemen and wants them dead,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau Captain Kent Wegener said.

“There are people who have such deep-seated hatred against law enforcement that they’re just willing to kill anybody unprovoked,” Sheriff Villanueva said, according to KNBC.

The shootings occurred at about 7 p.m. on Sept. 12 when a suspect now identified as Murray approached the patrol vehicle they were sitting in at the Metro Blue Line train station in Compton and shot them.

A 31-year-old female deputy and a 24-year-old male deputy suffered serious gunshot wounds.

Surveillance video captured the moment a dark-skinned male in dark clothing walked up to their patrol car near the intersection of Willowbrook Avenue and Oak Street and opened fire on them from just a few feet away.

KTTV reported that the female deputy was shot twice in the jaw and the male deputy was shot in the head and the arm.

The female deputy has been credited with saving her partner’s life by applying a tourniquet to his gushing arm as they took cover behind a column of a nearby building after they were shot.

The manhunt for the gunman began immediately after the deputies were shot.

Officials said he fled the scene in a black Mercedes sedan that Murray has since been arrested for carjacking, KTTV reported.

Capt. Wegener said that Murray, a convicted felon, was arrested two weeks ago in connection with that armed carjacking in Lynnwood.

But at the time, the sheriff’s department said the arrest was not related to the shooting of the deputies, KNBC reported.

“At the time of the arrest… following the vehicle pursuit, we had no evidence that he was responsible for the assault on our deputies,” Capt. Wegener said. “We knew that he was a violent offender, he was accused of stealing a black Mercedes-Benz, and live in the area. However, there was insufficient evidence to support an arrest.”

Murray was charged in relation to that incident with one felony count each of carjacking, second-degree robbery, and assault with a semiautomatic firearm-personal use of a firearm on Sept. 17, according to KTTV.

He is also charged with associating with a criminal street gang, discharging a rifle inflicting great bodily injury, and personal use of a rifle in the carjacking incident.

Capt. Wegener said the pistol Murray discarded while being pursued was the same gun he used to shoot the deputies at the train station in Compton, KNBC reported.

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Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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