Man charged in ambush shooting of L.A. deputies condemned by Trump, Biden

  • World
  • Thursday, 01 Oct 2020

FILE PHOTO: A man aims at a police vehicle in Compton, California, U.S., September 12, 2020 in this still image taken from a video tweeted by the LASD. LOS ANGELES COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT / via REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A suspect already jailed on suspicion of carjacking was charged on Wednesday with opening fire on two Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies as they sat in their patrol car, an attack that was caught on videotape.

Footage of the Sept. 12 ambush on the two deputies was broadcast widely and became part of the U.S. presidential race after both candidates called for the gunman to be dealt with harshly.

Deonte Lee Murray, 36, was charged with two counts of attempted murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said in a statement.

Murray, who was already in custody following his Sept. 15 arrest on unrelated carjacking charges, was expected to make an initial court appearance on the attempted murder charges later on Wednesday.

It was not immediately clear if he had retained an attorney. Prosecutors asked that he be held on $6.15 million bail.

The graphic video footage, shot by a surveillance camera at the Martin Luther King Jr. Transit Center in the Los Angeles suburb of Compton, shows a man walk up to the black-and-white squad car and fire a handgun through the passenger window. He is then seen fleeing on foot.

The deputies, identified only as a 31-year-old woman and a 24-year-old man, both suffered gunshot wounds. Despite her injuries the female deputy was able to help her partner to safety and apply a tourniquet to his wounded arm.

Both victims survived and have since been released from a Los Angeles area hospital.

Following the shooting President Donald Trump said on Twitter that if the deputies died the suspect should face the death penalty for the "cold-blooded shooting."

Democrat Joe Biden, Trump's rival for the presidency in the Nov. 3 election, tweeted that "acts of lawlessness and violence directed against police officers are unacceptable."

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb and Brad Brooks; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Lisa Shumaker)

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