A Texas man suspected of killing three people and seriously injuring four in a string of attacks on sleeping southern California men—most of them homeless—had a long criminal history and had been deported from the United States six times, immigration officials said Tuesday night. Ramon Escobar, 47, believed to have been homeless himself, likely targeted victims to rob them, says Los Angeles police Capt. William Hayes. Escobar could be charged Wednesday with murder and attempted murder in connection with a weekslong string of attacks, the AP reports. In Houston, meanwhile, authorities are investigating him in connection with the disappearance of his aunt and uncle.
Escobar was first ordered removed from the country in 1988 and was deported to his native El Salvador six times between 1997 and 2011, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement said in a statement Tuesday night. He was released from ICE custody last year after appealing his latest immigration case, ICE said. Escobar has six felony convictions for burglary and illegal reentry. Hayes, who calls Escobar a "violent predator," says investigators believe he drove to California from Houston after his relatives disappeared and attacked the men in Los Angeles and suburban Santa Monica beginning Sept. 8. Escobar was arrested Monday after a man sitting on a sidewalk was beaten unconscious, Santa Monica police say. That victim remains in a coma.
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