Two suspects have been arrested in connection with a series of deadly robberies at 7-Eleven stores in Southern California, officials said.
Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer announced the arrests Friday evening. A press briefing was held at 5 p.m. local time with multiple agencies to discuss the investigation. He was joined by police chiefs from Brea, Santa Ana, La Habra and Riverside counties to discuss the crime spree at multiple 7-Eleven stores on Monday that left two dead and three injured.
Officials named Malik Patt, 20, who was the masked man in the photos, and Jason Payne, 44, both of Los Angeles, as suspects. They were arrested in Los Angeles at 1:10 p.m. Friday and one was injured during the arrest and treated at a local hospital, police said.
“As I said, all agencies worked together to capture and arrest this suspect, the prime shooting suspect, and then the second subject who we believe was also involved in assisting the prime suspect and the series,” Santa Ana Police Department Chief David Valentine said.
Special Agent Monique Villegas hoped the arrest would hopefully bring a sense of relief to victims and families.
“Cause and reason, but it seems like it has really put a chill on our communities because we know seven eleven is the ultimate convenience store. And so I know our department has been contacted by many customers, employees and owners of our 711 stores and that’s where our community stores and we are grateful to them as well,” Villegas said.
Santa Ana Mayor Vicente Sarmiento explained how the community reached out as events unfolded.
“We know that Seven Elevens is the convenience store par excellence. And so I know that our department has been contacted by many customers, employees and owners of our 711 stores and is where our community shops and we are grateful to them as well,” he said.
Supervisory board chairman Dough Cheffey said a victims relief fund had been set up for the families of the two victims and relief would be provided to all those affected.
Spitzer said he will press charges on Monday, including charges of premeditated and deliberate murder and the commission of a felony. Spitzer said he wanted to make sure the prime suspect didn’t stand a chance of being released.
“It was a reign of terror. To think that you go to a convenience store or you donate a job or a sandwich shop and you get shot calling your loved ones. With your last breaths. Or being an employee behind the cash register, just to help out another customer because you’re working and trying to get back on your feet because you went through the school of hard knocks,” Spitzer said.
“You were a drug addict and you work in a 711 because they gave you a chance to resuscitate your life. And then someone comes in and crunches a deal and shoots you and kills you.
Spitzer will hold another press conference next week.
Authorities said they were investigating the link between the six separate flights, which took place over a five-hour period.
An armed robbery was reported at a 7-Eleven in Upland at 12:37 a.m. Monday, Upland Police said.
Santa Ana police said they believe the same armed suspect shot a man in the parking lot of a 7-11 about three hours later. The victim was identified by the police as 24-year-old Matthew Rule.
An employee was fatally shot at a 7-Eleven in Brea shortly after 4 a.m. Monday, police said. It was identified by the Brea Police Department as Matthew Hirsch, 40, of La Habra. Police published footage of a suspect in the shooting taken from surveillance footage.
The Brea Police Department said it believes the same suspect also robbed a 7-Eleven in La Habra 20 minutes later, shooting a customer and a worker.
A customer at a 7-Eleven in Riverside was also shot dead around 1:50 a.m. Monday.
7-Eleven is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction, the company said.
It’s unclear if the shooting was related to Free Slurpee Day, celebrating the channel’s anniversary on July 11 – 7/11 -.
ABC News’ Teddy Grant and Izzy Alvarez contributed to this report.
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