Two men were arrested Friday in connection with a series of robberies at 7-Eleven stores in Southern California that left two dead and three injured. Police say the men are suspected in another murder and other crimes in the area.
Half a dozen 7-Elevens and a donut shop were robbed within five hours early Monday in San Bernardino, Orange and Riverside counties, sparking an intense manhunt that led to the arrests of two Los Angeles men. Angeles. One is 20 years old and the other is 44 years old, and both are from LA
In addition to announcing that the men are suspected of the July 9 murders in LA, police revealed that one of the two men shot dead Monday was killed after attempting to intervene when one of the men was killed. the suspect tries to rob another person.
“This is a terrifying time,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said at a news conference. He said prosecutors are expected to file charges of murder, attempted murder and robbery.
‘Technology’ plays a role in arrests
Authorities also hope that at least one of the men will be charged with “several crimes” in the LA area after additional investigation.
Law enforcement gave few details about the case, saying only that “technology” played a role in the arrest and that the suspects were tracked down by a task force as they were arrested with a “use of small force” behavior. hospital. No shots were fired.
Police also did not say whether they believed the men targeted 7-Eleven because Monday was July 11 or November 7.
Santa Ana Mayor Vicente Sarmiento said the arrest ended the fear that had subsided in his city this week.
“7-Elevens is the quintessential convenience store,” he said. “It’s where our community shop.”
An employee, Matthew Hirsch, 40, was fatally shot at a Brea store, and Matthew Rule, 24, was fatally shot in the parking lot of a Santa Ana store. Two of the three injured have been discharged.
‘Fight for kindness’
Authorities said Rule intervened when the suspect was attempting to rob others and “tried to divert the suspect. The suspect turned around and [shoots] our victim, kill him on the spot,” Santa Ana Police Chief David Valentin said.
Jim Hirsch, Hirsch’s father, told the Associated Press that his son was sober more than a year ago after a long period of drug addiction. He had a steady job working overnight shifts at the Brea location, lived with his girlfriend in an apartment nearby, and talked to his father daily.
“He doesn’t have time to enjoy a normal life,” his father said. “He goes through a struggle for kindness and it ends in a shooting.”
A customer was shot in the head and seriously injured at a store in Riverside, and two people, one of them an employee, were shot in La Habra but are expected to survive.
Russell Browning was shot in the face while sitting in his car outside a La Habra store, he told FOX 11. Browning said he saw the suspect and the employee walk out of the store.
“He was taller than my car, so I couldn’t see him well. And then all of a sudden, he lifted his gun and fired,” he said.
The Riverside shooting victim has been identified by his family as Jason Harrell, 46. He was breathing on his own and was no longer in a coma, his brother David Makin told KNBC-TV earlier this week.
Convenience store chain 7-Eleven on Wednesday offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the masked gunman. Authorities said it was not yet clear whether anyone would receive money from the bonus fund.