Southern California 7-Eleven armed robbery suspects arrested following deadly crime spree, police say

The robberies at several 7-Eleven stores all spanned a few hours and resulted in two people killed and three others injured during the crime wave

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Two suspects have been arrested in connection with a string of 7-Eleven armed robberies in Southern California that left two people dead and three others injured this week. 

Malik Donyae Patt. 20, and 44-year-old Jason Lamont Payne were arrested around 1:10 p.m. in Los Angeles, officials said. Agents with a task force had been following them before they were taken into police custody. On of them was taken to a hospital because of injuries during the arrest and the other was taken to the Santa Ana Police Department. 

"This was a reign of terror," Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said during a Friday evening joint news conference with multiple law enforcement agencies. 

He said he plans to file murder charges against the suspects by Monday with other charges pending. Los Angeles police Deputy Chief Alan Hamilton also revealed that a July 9 fatal shooting has been linked to the 7-Eleven robberies. 

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The crime spree targeting the convenience store chain began Monday and spread throughout three counties. In total, there were six robberies that occurred in Brea, La Habra, Ontario, Santa Ana, Upland and Riverside

The first reported robbery occurred Monday morning in Ontario. Authorities said a suspect walked in and demanded money before fleeing. Less than an hour later, another store in Upland was targeted. No one was injured in those incidents. 

The Brea Police Department released an image of a suspect possibly linked to an armed robbery that left one person dead Monday, At least two people were killed and others injured during a string of similar robberies at 7-Eleven locations in Southern California early Monday. 

The Brea Police Department released an image of a suspect possibly linked to an armed robbery that left one person dead Monday, At least two people were killed and others injured during a string of similar robberies at 7-Eleven locations in Southern California early Monday.  (Brea Police Department )

Another armed robbery occurred in Riverside and a customer was shot in the head, police said. In Santa Ana, a 24-year-old man was found dead in the store parking lot with a gunshot wound to his upper body. 

Matthew Rule, 24, was shot trying to intervene in a robbery, Santa Ana Police Chief David Valentin told reporters. 

Investigators said the store was closed and the gunman killed him, Fox Los Angeles reported. 

In Brea, a 7-Eleven store clerk was killed and a store clerk and another man were both shot at another 7-Eleven in nearby La Habra. The shootings coincided with National 7/11 Day, in which the chain celebrates its anniversary by giving customers a chance to win free Slurpees. 

Brea police released an image of a suspect possibly linked to the crimes Monday. In a statement released that day, 7Eleven said it was thinking of the victims and their loved ones. 

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"Our hearts are with the victims and their loved ones. We are gathering information on this terrible tragedy and working with local law enforcement," the company said. 

The corporate chain also offered a $100,000 reward days after the shootings.