Two suspects have been arrested in connectionearlier this week at several 7-Eleven stores in Southern California in which two people were killed and three others wounded.
The Orange County District Attorney's Office announced one arrest Friday afternoon, according a second arrest.. The Brea Police Department later announced
In a news briefing Friday evening, Santa Ana Police Chief David Valentin identified the two suspects as 20-year-old Malike Patt and 44-year-old Jason Payne, both of Los Angeles. Patt is believed to be the primary suspect responsible for the robberies, Valentin said. Payne's role in the crimes is unclear.
The two were arrested together in L.A. at about 1:10 p.m. on Friday, Valentin said. One of the suspects was injured during the arrest and taken to a hospital for treatment.
Los Angeles police Deputy Chief Alan Hamilton said investigators also believe a fatal shooting which occurred in L.A. on July 9, two days before the robbery spree, may be linked to Patt. Police believe Patt may be responsible for several more crimes in the L.A. area.
“We believe there are a number of crimes throughout the L.A. region that will also be linked back to this suspect,” Hamilton said.
The armed robberies occurred over a five-hour time span early Monday morning. Six 7-Eleven stores and a donut store in the cities of Riverside, Ontario, Upland, Brea, Santa Ana and La Habra were robbed, each by a masked gunman.
A 7-Eleven clerk, 40-year-old Matthew Hirsch, was shot and killed at a Brea store, while 24-year-old Matthew Rule was shot and killed in the parking lot of a 7-Eleven store in Santa Ana.
Valentin said Friday that Rule was not the intended target of the gunman.
“The suspect was looking to rob another person, this innocent victim stepped in, and tried to redirect the suspect,” Valentin said. “The suspect turns around and shoots our victim, kills him on the spot.”
Authorities released surveillance images from several of the robberies of a masked man wearing what appeared to be the same black sweatshirt with a hood over his head. The sweatshirt had white lettering with green leaves on the front. It's not clear who is pictured.
A $100,000 reward was offered Wednesday for information leading to an arrest and conviction.
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