Malik Patt, the suspect in a series of shootings and robberies at Los Angeles area 7-Eleven stores, was arraigned Tuesday on three murder charges and faces a possible death sentence.
Three people died and other victims were hospitalized in the crime spree of which Mr. Patt is accused. The first was a homeless man shot in the head outside a 7-Eleven after a robbery on July 9. The other two deaths came on July 11, a promotional day for the chain.
Mr. Patt, 20, faces three felony counts of “special circumstances” murder, which allows prosecutors to seek his execution. The “special circumstances” include multiple murders and murder in pursuit of a separate felony, specifically robbery.
Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer called the spree one of the “cruelest, most inhumane crimes I’ve ever seen.”
In a press release, Mr. Spitzer called the suspect “a stone-cold serial killer who executed innocent people.
“He could have taken the money and left them alive, but instead he chose to kill whoever and whenever he wanted,” he said.
His neighbor Jason Payne has been charged with aiding the robberies, but not with complicity in any of the three killings. The two men were both arraigned Tuesday.
The manhunt for Mr. Patt and Mr. Payne ended when they were arrested Friday by a Los Angeles task force of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
Although most of the spree took place at 7-Elevens on July 11, a promotional anniversary day (“7-11”) for the convenience-store chain, police now think that the timing of the attacks was a coincidence.
The three victims included Matthew Hirsch, a 40-year-old clerk at a 7-Eleven in Brea; Matthew Rule, a 24-year-old bystander who was fatally shot at a Santa Ana store while intervening in the robbery.
According to the Associated Press, the homeless man killed in Los Angeles has not been publicly named.