ORANGE COUNTY, CA—The two suspects in the string of robberies and shootings—including two killings—at several 7-Eleven stores throughout Southern California have been identified as 20-year-old Malik Patt and 44-year-old Jason Payne.
Patt is believed to be the suspect seen in surveillance images from various 7-Elevens, however, Payne’s connection to the crimes has not yet been revealed, authorities stated during a news conference.
The 20-year-old suspect is also connected to a fatal shooting that occurred on July 9 in the 16100 block of Parthenia Street and is also tied to “a number of crimes” in the L.A. area, according to Los Angeles police Deputy Chief Alan Hamilton.
The two arrests come just two days after the Japanese convenience chain offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the masked gunman.
Along with the fatalities, three other victims were also wounded in the attacks, reports to ABC7.
Murder charges will be filed next week stemming from the shootings that occurred at the 7-Elevens located in Brea and Santa Ana on Monday, according to Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer.
Charges will be filed in such a way that Patt will be unable to post bail.
Clerk Matthew Hirsche, 40, was shot and killed at the 7-Eleven Brea store located on Lambert Road, and Matthew Rule, 24, was gunned down in the parking lot of the Santa Ana 7-Eleven store during a five-hour string of holdups Monday morning, according to ABC7.
Police in Ontario, Upland, Riverside, and La Habra have said they believe 7-Eleven robberies there also are linked.
Another customer was shot in the head and gravely wounded at a Riverside store and two people, one of them a clerk, were shot in La Habra on Whittier Boulevard but were expected to survive.
One victim, 60-year-old Russell Browning, lost most of his teeth when the gunman shot him in the mouth as he sat in his car. The bullet exited his cheek.
The 60-year-old had just picked up milk and doughnuts at the store and was heading to his job as a truck driver, reports ABC7.
All the attacks took place on July 11 – or 7/11, the day when the company celebrates its anniversary. However, investigators haven’t said whether the date may have played a significant role in the attacks.
7-Eleven has since issued the following statement:
“We are grateful that the Orange County District Attorney has announced local law enforcement has apprehended a suspect related to the recent violent incidents. We will continue to fully support law enforcement with their investigation.”