Deonte Lee Murray charged with attempted murder

Investigators in Los Angeles have charged a man with the attempted murder of two police officers who were shot as they sat in their patrol car.

Deonte Lee Murray, 36, was already in custody for unrelated carjacking charges, prosecutors said.

At a court appearance on Wednesday he pleaded not guilty to the charges in both cases, AP News reported.

Widely shared video of the shooting showed a figure approach the police car, open fire and then run away.

The officers were seriously injured but have since been released from hospital.

Footage of the 12 September attack, described by police as an ambush, caused a national outcry and both candidates in the presidential race – President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden – called for the perpetrator to be severely dealt with.

In a statement, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said Deonte Lee Murray had been charged with two counts of attempted murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He had been in custody since his arrest on 15 September for the carjacking charges, the statement said.

Following Wednesday’s court appearance, Mr Murray was remanded in prison with bail set at $6.15m (£4.7m) and is due back in court in November.

Police guarded the hospital where the wounded officers were taken

Prosecutors have not suggested a possible motive for the shooting of the officers, which happened in the Los Angeles suburb of Compton.

They were not named but were described as a 31-year-old woman and a 24-year-old man.

The female officer was shot in the jaw and arms while the male officer was hit in the forehead, an arm and a hand.

It later emerged that, despite her injuries, the female deputy helped her partner to safety and applied a tourniquet to his wounded arm.

With law and order a key issue in next month’s presidential election, both candidates strongly condemned the attack at the time.

President Donald Trump shared footage of the incident and tweeted: “Animals that must be hit hard.”

Mr Biden, meanwhile, said that the “cold-blooded” shooting was unconscionable and “the perpetrator must be brought to justice”.