LOS ANGELES — A 36-year-old man who had already been in police custody as a suspect in a carjacking incident has been charged with premeditated attempted murder for shooting two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies last month as they sat in their cruiser.
According to reports, Deonte Lee Murray has a criminal history, which includes illegal drug sales, felony firearm possession and making terroristic threats.
On Sep. 15, he was arrested in relation to another Compton attack, where he is accused of shooting a 51-year-old man in the leg with a high-powered rifle and then driving off with his Mercedez-Benz. Murray has pleaded not guilty to charges including carjacking, robbery and attempted murder.
On Wednesday, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva and County District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced that Murray has now also been named as the suspect in the Sept. 12 ambush of two sheriff’s deputies, who were shot at point-blank range while sitting in their vehicle near the Blue Line Metro station.
The incident was captured on security footage, which shows a man approaching the cruiser, firing a weapon and then running away.
“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,” Homicide Bureau Captain Kent Wegener outlined, according to CBS News.
Additionally, the vehicle used to flee the scene was a black Mercedez-Benz sedan, the same that had been stolen earlier in the month. The “ghost gun” that was recovered following a 10-hour pursuit surrounding the carjacking incident matched that used in the deputy shooting as gathered through forensic evidence.
“This cowardly ambush was followed by bystanders celebrating and cheering that the deputies had been shot, and that followed at the hospital — the sanctity, the quiet sanctity of the hospital — with protesters cheering and chanting for the deputies to die,” Villanueva outlined during the press conference, according to local television station KABC.
“These acts and that day, I will not forget it, and it represents the worst in humanity and it shocked the whole nation,” he added. “And that evening, I said we will find this man. And I can report today, we have found our suspect.”
Murray has pleaded not guilty in the shooting of the deputies, who have since been released from the hospital.
As previously reported, a video posted to social media following the ambush showed a man (not Murray) seemingly taking amusement that the officers “just got aired out” as the deputies bled a few hundred feet away.
“Compton! [Slur] just aired the police out!” he stated in the video, watched millions of times. “Oh! It goes down in Compton! Oh! They just got bust on! That [slur] on a knee.”
Another video posted online showed several protestors outside St. Francis Medical Center, where the deputies were being treated, yelling remarks such as “oink, oink,” “[expletive] the police” and “I hope they die, [expletive]!” The men likewise repeatedly used expletives while berating an officer who was holding a gun.
“Put that [expletive] down you punk [expletive],” one protester stated. “That’s why you’re [expletive] dying one by one!”
“You’re next,” another remarked.
In Mark 7:20-23 Jesus outlined that murder, like all sin, begins in the heart. It is why He declared that men must be born again (John 3:3) and have their very nature changed, or they cannot see the Kingdom of God.
“That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man,” Jesus said. “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”
He also taught hope and freedom from abiding sin, explaining in John 8:34-36, “Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever, but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”