Suspect arrested in shooting of two LASD deputies – and apparently, they’ve had him for 2 weeks

Held at gunpoint by Maxim Hopman is licensed under Unsplash
LOS ANGELES, CA – On September 30th, authorities reportedly arrested a suspect alleged to be the gunman behind the near-fatal ambush of two Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies earlier in September.

The 36-year-old suspect is slated to be arraigned later in the afternoon of the 30th, under two counts each of premediated attempted murder of a peace officer and possession of a firearm by a felon. L.A. County District Attorney Jackie Lacey and Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced the arrest of Deonte Lee Murray on September 30th, while addressing the press from the LASD headquarters.

What makes this case so unique though is that the suspect had already been arrested – three days after the shooting. However, Murray’s September 15th arrest wasn’t linked to this shooting, but rather a case pertaining to a carjacking and shooting that transpired on September 1st.

Interestingly, at the time of the September 15th arrest of Murray that involved a 10-hour standoff, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said “we have no nexus known between that [carjacking suspect] and the ambush.” But forensic evidence wound up later linking Murray to the shooting, according to D.A. Lacey and Captain Kent Wagener noted that a “ghost gun” that was allegedly used in the shooting was also recovered.

Also, the black Mercedes Benz that had fled the scene of the shooting on September 12th of the two deputies also happened to be the same vehicle that Murray allegedly stole on September 1st

Captain Wegener also stated that Murray’s booking photo bore a reasonable resemblance to the suspect featured on the surveillance footage of the shooting: “The carjacking suspect’s photograph, when compared to the suspect’s image in the surveillance video of the attempted murder, strengthened the possibility that he was involved.”

Murray apparently provided all the evidence investigators needed during his September 15th arrest – between the recovered vehicle and the “ghost gun” that he reportedly tried to throw from a moving vehicle when police were engaged in a pursuit with him.

Captain Wagener explained that the discarded gun helped provide all the missing pieces in the investigation: “It was determined through ballistic comparison, that the pistol recovered was the pistol used to shoot the deputies, additionally that pistol was conclusively linked through forensic testing to suspect Deonte Murray.”

While investigators did admit on the September 30th press conference to having suspicions as early as September 15th that Murray was their suspect, Captain Wagener explained that while those suspicions existed – the evidence wasn’t quite up to par immediately following Murray’s September 15th arrest: “There was insufficient evidence to support an arrest, much less a criminal filing for the charge of attempted murder on a peace officer and to label him in the media as the person responsible. Additionally, bringing the public focus on him at that point in the investigation may have influenced the pending witness interviews.”

Outside of the charges linked to the ambush on the two deputies, Murray is also facing a charge of attempted murder due to the September 1st carjacking due to him allegedly shooting the owner of the Mercedes that he allegedly stole.

On top of the pending charges levied against the suspect, Murray is also said to host a lengthy criminal history that includes convictions of drug sales, burglary, terrorist threats and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon. With the charges that Murray is currently facing, he may serve up to life in prison if convicted.
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