LOS ANGELES (AP) — Authorities said Friday that two suspects have been arrested in a series of deadly robberies at Southern California 7-Eleven convenience stores where two people were killed and three wounded.
The Orange County District Attorney’s Office announced the arrests on social media. A press conference is scheduled for 5 p.m. No other details were immediately available.
Police have been seeking a masked gunman suspected of robbing six Southern California stores. It was not immediately clear who the second person arrested was.
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 role in the attacks.
A clerk, Matthew Hirsch, 40, was shot and killed at a Brea store, and Matthew Rule, 24, was gunned down in the parking lot of a Santa Ana store during a five-hour string of holdups.
Hirsch’s father, Jim Hirsch, told The Associated Press that his son had gotten sober more than a year ago after a longtime drug addiction. He had landed a stable job working overnight shifts at the Brea location, lived with his girlfriend in a nearby apartment and spoke to his father every day.
“He hadn’t had time to enjoy a normal life,” his father said. “He goes through a struggle for goodness and it ends in a shooting.”
Police in Ontario, Upland, Riverside and La Habra have said they believe the 7-Eleven robberies there also are linked.
A 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 but were expected to survive.
Russell Browning was shot in the face as he sat in his car outside the La Habra store, he told FOX 11. Browning said he saw the suspect and the clerk come out of the store.
“He was taller than my car, so I didn’t get a good look at him. And then all of a sudden, he just lifted the gun and shot,” he told the TV station.
The Riverside shooting victim was 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.
Both of the La Habra victims were released from a hospital on Wednesday, KNBC-TV reported.
The 7-Eleven convenience store chain on Wednesday offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the masked gunman. It was not immediately clear whether anyone had called police with tips that led to the two arrests.