Authorities arrested Deonte Lee Murray, a 36-year-old resident of Compton, California, as a suspect in the ambush shooting of two Los Angeles Sheriff’s deputies earlier this month, with one official saying in a press conference Wednesday that some members of the public provided “significant information” in the case leading up to the announcement of charges.
Kent Wegener, head of the sheriff’s homicide bureau, said that a weapon later recovered by authorities in an unrelated investigation provided “powerful” evidence that Murray was the alleged shooter of the two deputies.
However, Wegener also pointed to information from the public playing a role in the course of the investigation, which started on September 12 after two deputies, a 24-year-old male and a 31-year-old female, were shot multiple times.
“We had been doing interviews. We had received anonymous information, we had unsubstantiated, unverified information from the public, from the streets, that said, ‘This is your guy, this is the guy you want,’” said Wegener.
As The Daily Wire previously reported, the reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a suspect in the case reached six figures with the help of the Los Angeles City Council, and the size of the reward dramatically increased due to a variety of different funding sources, some of which were private.
Wegener said that some members of the public “will likely have some claim to that reward” if Murray is ultimately found guilty and also indicated that some of the information from the public was “significant.”
District attorney Jackie Lacey filed two attempted murder charges against Deonte Lee Murray, a 36-year-old Compton resident, for the ambush shooting of the two sheriff’s deputies who were sitting in their patrol car. She also called the evidence “strong.”
Murray was arrested two weeks ago in Compton for allegedly stealing a Mercedes Benz after shooting the driver. He faces an attempted murder charge for the incident, in addition to other charges, and up to life in state prison if convicted, said Lacey.
Authorities did not indicate a specific motive for the shooting of the two deputies, but Wegener said the alleged shooter “obviously hates policemen and he wants them dead.” He said Murray has previously been convicted on other charges, including sale and possession of narcotics, felony firearms possession, and making terroristic threats.
Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villanueva said that both deputies are now home from the hospital but still face a lengthy recovery process, including reconstructive surgery.
He also praised law enforcement officers and bureaus for working to identify a suspect and members of the public and public officials for showing support for the two sheriff’s deputies, saying that the “outpouring of support was across the nation.”
“Sometimes from the worst comes the best, and this is an example of that,” he said.
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