LOS ANGELES — Authorities have arrested a 36-year-old man suspected of ambushing and shooting two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies as they sat in their patrol car earlier this month.
Deonte Lee Murray faces two counts of attempted murder of a peace officer, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced Wednesday. She characterized the attack as “willful, deliberate and premeditated,” though she declined to elaborate as the case makes its way through the court system.
Surveillance video from Sept. 12 showed a person on foot approach the patrol car, parked at a Metro rail station in the city of Compton, and fire a handgun through the passenger-side window. The deputies, a 31-year-old woman and a 24-year-old man, were able to radio for help despite suffering head wounds.
The pair, who graduated together from the sheriff’s academy 14 months ago, have since been released from the hospital and are recovering.
Authorities said they linked Murray to the shooting after he was arrested and charged in an unrelated carjacking and assault reported on Sept. 1. As he fled from an arrest on those charges two weeks ago, L.A. County Homicide Capt. Kent Wegener said Murray threw a pistol from his car.
Forensic testing later determined the gun was the one used to shoot the deputies on Sept. 12, Wegener said.
Authorities continued Wednesday to investigate a possible motive for the shooting, “other than the fact that he obviously hates policemen and he wants them dead,” Wegener said.
Investigators believe Murray acted alone.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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