Two suspects involved in a series of deadly robberies that targeted 7-Eleven convenience stores across Southern California last week that left two dead were hit with a slew of criminal charges Monday, authorities said.
Malik Patt, 20, is charged with three murder counts with special circumstance enhancements for engaging in multiple murders, two counts of attempted murder and carjacking while armed, and robbery. He is eligible for the penalty of life without parole, Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said during a news conference.
"Malik Patt is a stone-cold serial killer," he said. "He executed innocent people and he shot others."
The second suspect, Jason Payne, 44, is charged with three robbery counts and one count of attempted murder. He could face more charges depending on the evidence, Spitzer said.
Both were arrested July 15 following a manhunt that began with a crime spree targeting 7-Eleven stores in Ontario, Brea, La Habra, Santa Ana, Upland and Riverside in the early morning hours of July 11.
Two murders occurred during the Brea and Santa Ana robberies, authorities said.
The first reported robbery occurred in the early morning hours 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.
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 last week.
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.
The third murder charge against Patt is related to the July 9 slaying of a homeless man in Los Angeles and a robbery, Spitzer said. Those crimes are being charged in Orange County instead of Los Angeles County, he said.
Authorities believe the pair is tied to other crimes in the Los Angeles area. The Los Angeles Police Department said four robberies occurred on July 9 at two convenience stores and two donut shops.