In a case of mistaken identity, the LAPD officers that opened fire on innocent civilians will not face charges, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office announced last week.
But Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said the eight officers involved in the shooting violated the department’s deadly force policy.
That was, before he changed his mind and allowed the officers back to full-time duty.
The incident took place on February 7, 2013 when Margie Carranza and Emma Hernandez were delivering Los Angeles Times newspapers around 5 a.m.
The women were driving a blue Toyota Tacoma pickup truck, which police confused for a blue Nissan Titan driven by former LAPD officer turned cop killer Christopher Dorner.
Hernandez was struck twice, one in the lower back and once in the scapula. Carranza was cut severely by glass shards from broken windows caused by bullets.
The police were at the home of Captain Justin Eisenberg protecting him from Dorner.
Dorner was angry over losing his job a few years earlier in what he said was an unjust termination.
Dorner had already killed two citizens and two police officers and police believed he would be targeting Eisenberg, which was why they were parked in front of his house.
It was still dark outside as the women drove the truck on the same street that Eisenberg lived on, tossing out newspapers.
One woman threw a newspaper into a driveway and the sound of the paper hitting the pavement triggered the officers, prompting eight officers to open fire on the women.
After a barrage of bullets were fired at the vehicle, the mother and daughter had apparent gun shot injuries and were profusely bleeding, the officers then ordered the women out of the truck.
Reports indicate that a total of 103 rounds were fired which hit seven nearby homes and nine other vehicles.
The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office released a heavily redacted memo stating the following:
“The fear of Dorner was understandable and justified,” the memo said. “There is no evidence to suggest that the officers did not honestly believe that Dorner was in the vehicle, nor is there evidence to suggest that the officers did not honestly believe they were being fired upon.”
The women sued the City of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Police Department, the lawsuit was settled for $4.2 million.
LAPD Sgt. John Valdez and officers Jess Faber, Marlon Franco, Sergio Gramajo, John Hart, Geoff Lear, Deshon Parker and Jonathan Roman all fired their service weapons at the women.
The women’s attorney, Glenn Jonas had the follwing to say regarding the DA’s decision:
“I don’t have faith in the decision. What I do want to know is who took that first shot and why”
In 2009 Dorner was terminated from the LAPD for claiming a fellow officer used excessive force on a civilian. Dorner believed his termination was unjust. In February 2013, Dorner targeted several LAPD officers and members of their family.
On Febuary 3, 2013, Dorner fatally shot Monica Quan, who was the daughter of former LAPD Capt. Randy Quan. Former Capt. Quan had represented Dorner in his termination proceedings.
Perhaps Dorner didn’t believe Quan did a good job of representing him. The other victim was Keith Lawrence who was Monica Quan’s fiance.
Dorner also killed a LAPD officer and a San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy in his February 2013 killing spree. He also critically injured other officers in his shootings.
Dorner was so angry, he even wrote a 17 page manifesto on the police officers he would kill and how he would kill them. Some of the manifesto reads:
“There will be an element of surprise where you work, eat, sleep, and live. The LAPD has suppressed the truth and it has now lead to deadly consequences. I will bring unconventional and asymmetrical warfare to those in LAPD uniform whether on or off duty. If you recognize my vehicle, and confirm it is my vehicle thru a dmv/warrant check and attempt to notify other officers of my location or for backup you will not live.”
Dorner was eventually cornered by police in a California cabin in a heavily wooded area. Dorner set the cabin on fire, and while still inside shot himself, ending his life.
In a separate case, the LAPD also mistakenly held a pregnant woman at gun point.