Earlier this month, two Los Angeles Sheriff deputies were shot in an ambush 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.
On Wednesday, Deonte Lee Murray, a black 36-year-old man, was charged with attempting to murder the two deputies. 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.
During a press conference on Wednesday when the charges against Murray were announced, District Attorney Jackie Lacey said, “Too often we take for granted the inherent danger present whenever a law enforcement officer reports for work.”
According to the DA’s office, prosecutors are recommending for bail to be set at $6.15 million. If Murray is convicted as charged, he faces a possible maximum sentence of life in state prison.
Murray was arrested three days after the shooting, but it was for a separate shooting and carjacking incident that had taken place on September 1. For that, he is also facing one felony count each for carjacking, second-degree robbery, and assault with a semi-automatic firearm.
Los Angeles County Sheriff, Alex Villanueva had said during the press conference that video surveillance and interviews had revealed to the authorities that the suspect had fled the shooting in a black Mercedes sedan. It was only later that they learned the car he had stolen in the carjacking incident was the same color and make.
Murray was arrested on September 15 after a police pursuit where he allegedly threw a gun out of his car’s window. According to Villanueva, the gun was later identified to be the same weapon that he used to shoot the two deputies.
The sheriff said that the investigation is still ongoing. As a result, no photos of the suspect have been released, although he did identify Murray as a black male.
On September 12, the suspect had walked up to the two sheriff’s cruiser and opened fire on them at point-blank range. He immediately fled the scene afterward. Both deputies had sustained multiple wounds, including shots to the head, but they have survived the attack.
The ambush was captured on an unclear surveillance video.
The DA’s office also said the suspect faces allegations of association with a criminal street gang but they did not name the gang in question.