Suspect ID’d in Ambush Shooting of Los Angeles Deputies Who Were Sitting in Patrol Car
October 1, 2020
Los Angeles County Police Department Claudia Apolinar at her academy graduation
The man who allegedly shot two Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies during a midday ambush last month has been identified for the first time since his arrest two weeks ago.
Deonte Lee Murray, 36, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to multiple charges, including two counts each of willful, deliberate and premeditated attempted murder of a peace officer and possession of a firearm by a felon.
Murray was taken into custody two weeks ago, on Sept. 15, and has been held ever since on one count each of carjacking, second-degree robbery, and assault with a semiautomatic firearm — all stemming from a separate incident.
A statement from prosecutors alleges that on Sept. 12, Murray “walked up to a car occupied by two sheriff’s deputies outside a Metro station” in Compton, “and opened fire.”
Video of the attack shows a shooter running from the scene.
RELATED: L.A. County Deputy Saves Her Partner’s Life After Gunman Ambushes Them
Authorities allege Murray carried out the unprovoked shootings with an untraceable ghost gun.
Both deputies — Claudia Apolinar, 31, and her 24-year-old partner, whose name has been withheld — were struck at close range.
They graduated from the police academy together.
Apolinar was shot in the face and torso while her partner sustained several wounds that required immediate medical treatment. To save her parter, Apolinar made a tourniquet to stop the bleeding. Medics arrived on scene and transported both to the hospital.
Both have been released from the hospital, but will endure long roads to full recoveries.
Bail for Murray was set at $6.15 million. He faces life in prison if convicted.
His attorney could not be reached for comment.
“Murray was charged on September 17 with one felony count each of carjacking, second-degree robbery and assault with a semiautomatic firearm-personal use of a firearm,” reads the statement from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Investigators allege Murray confronted a man in Compton on Sept. 1, and “shot him in his leg” before then fleeing in the victim’s vehicle.
Prosecutors on Wednesday also charged him attempted murder in connection with the carjacking as well as possession of a firearm by a felon.
“He also faces allegations of association with a criminal street gang, discharging a rifle inflicting great bodily injury and personal use of a rifle in the carjacking incident,” the statement says.
The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE’s free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.
Murray’s next hearing is set for November.
Police have not discussed a motive.
According to the Associated Press, Murray has past convictions for sales and possession of narcotics, firearm possession, receiving stolen property, burglary and terrorist threats.