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Man arrested, charged with attempted murder in ambush of LA County deputies


If convicted, the suspect faces up to life in prison

Image source: Twitter @LASDHQ screenshot

A man has been arrested and charged with two counts of attempted murder for allegedly shooting two Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies while they were sitting in their patrol vehicle in Compton earlier this month.

What are the details?

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva held a news conference Monday morning announcing the arrest of Deonte Lee Murray, 36, who is accused of carrying out the high-profile ambush attack on Sept. 12 that put both officers in the hospital with serious multiple gunshot wounds.

One wounded officer was identified as Claudia Apolinar, 31 — a former librarian and the mother of a 6-year-old boy — who has been hailed a hero for applying a tourniquet to her injured 24-year-old partner in the aftermath of the ambush despite herself sustaining several gunshot wounds including to her face and torso. The officers have been released from the hospital.

The shooting was caught on surveillance video, which was widely circulated online. The reward for information leading to the arrest of the alleged perpetrator grew to more than $640,000 between offers from the LACSD and private donors. Capt. Kent Wegener said that they "have received a great deal of information from people who will likely have some claim to that reward."

During the news conference, Wegener also explained how Murray was nabbed.

NBC News reported:

Wegener said that through surveillance video and witness statements, investigators learned that the suspect fled the scene of the shooting in a black Mercedes-Benz sedan. The investigators later learned that a matching vehicle had been stolen during a carjacking on Sept. 1.

According to The Daily Mail, Murray has been in police custody since Sept. 15 following "a huge armed standoff in Lynwood over an alleged carjacking on September 1 where a 51-year-old man was shot in the leg."

Wegener said that a handgun discarded by Murray during that run-in with law enforcement two weeks ago was the same one used in the unprovoked attack on the two deputies, given that it "matched both ballistically and forensically."

What was the motive?

No motive was given for Murray's alleged shooting, "other than the fact that he obviously hates policemen and he wants them dead," Wegener told the media.

In addition to the attempted murder charges, the suspect is charged with possession of a firearm by a felon. If convicted on all counts, he faces the prospect of life imprisonment.

Murray appeared in court Wednesday for his arraignment and pleaded not guilty to all charges. His bail was set at $6.1 million.

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