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Man charged in ambush shooting of LA deputies condemned by Trump, Biden

Man charged in ambush shooting of LA deputies condemned by Trump, Biden

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva comments on the investigation of the shooting of two deputies during a news conference at the Hall of Justice in downtown Los Angeles. (Photo: AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

LOS ANGELES: A suspect already jailed on suspicion of carjacking was charged on Wednesday (Sep 30) 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 Sep 12 ambush on the two deputies was broadcast widely and became part of the US 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 Sep 15 arrest on unrelated carjacking charges, was expected to make an initial court appearance on the attempted murder charges later on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: A man aims at a police vehicle in Compton, California, US, Sep 12, 2020 in this still image taken from a video tweeted by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. (Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department via Reuters)

It was not immediately clear if he had retained an attorney. Prosecutors asked that he be held on US$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".

Source: Reuters/lk

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