Two unarmed elderly Asian women delivering newspapers in Torrance early Thursday were shot and wounded by Los Angeles police during a massive manhunt for an ex-LAPD officer suspected in 3 killings.
Police said the shooting occurred about 5:20 a.m Thursday morning after Los Angeles police detectives from the Hollywood division came across a vehicle in the 19500 block of Redbeam Avenue they thought matched the description of the truck belonging to the murder suspect, ex-LAPD officer Christopher Jordan Dorner.
Instead, police opened fire on two elderly Asian women on their newspaper route, the National Ledger reported.
Their fire blue pickup truck was riddled with bullet holes and what appeared to be newspapers were scattered in the street, KTLA 5 Los Angeles reported.
Police said the former LAPD Harbor Division officer was last seen driving a grey 2005 Nissan Titan pickup truck.
“Tragically, we believe it may be a case of mistaken identity on the part of the officers,” LAPD Chief Charlie Beck confirmed on Thursday during a press conference on Thursday morning, according to NBC News Los Angeles.
One was shot in the hand and the other in the back, according to Jesse Escochea, who captured video of the victims. They were taken to area hospitals; one victim is listed in stable condition, Torrance police said.
The second incident, which involved Torrance police, occurred at Flagler Lane and Beryl Street about 5:45 a.m. No injuries were reported in that incident, The LA Times writes.
It was not immediately clear if occupants of the second vehicle matched Dorner’s description — a black male, 6 feet tall, weighing 270 pounds with black hair and brown eyes, said Torrance police Lt. Devin Chase.
Dorner, 33, shot three police officers — one fatally, a 14-year veteran of the Riverside Police Department — in Riverside County about 1:30 am Thursday morning.
The night before, authorities announced that Dorner was sought in connection with a double murder of a retired captain’s daughter and her fiancé in Orange County on Sunday.
Dorner's chilling manifesto
The killings appear to be retribution for his 2009 termination from the Los Angeles Police, authorities say.
"Self preservation is no longer important to me. I do not fear death as a I died long ago on 1/2/09," Dorner wrote, referencing the day he was fired from the LAPD.
Randy Quan, the father of one of his victims, represented Dorner at the hearing that led to Dorner’s firing. Quan's daughter, Monica Quan and her fiancé were shot dead in an Irvine parking garage Sunday night.
"I never had the opportunity to have a family of my own, (so) I am terminating yours," Dorner's multi-page manifesto on his Facebook page stated.
“I have exhausted all available means at obtaining my name back,” he wrote. “I have attempted all legal court efforts within appeals at the Superior Courts and California Appellate courts. This is my last resort. The LAPD has suppressed the truth and it has now lead to deadly consequences.”
According to documents from a court of appeals hearing in October 2011 obtained by the Associated Press, Dorner was fired from the LAPD after he made a complaint against his field training officer, Sgt. Teresa Evans. Dorner said that in the course of an arrest, Evans kicked suspect Christopher Gettler, a schizophrenic with severe dementia.
Following an investigation, Dorner alleged that he was wrongfully terminated. Authorities say he was fired for making false statements.
But Richard Gettler, the schizophrenic man's father, gave testimony that supported Dorner's claim. After his son was returned on July 28, 2007, Richard Gettler asked "if he had been in a fight because his face was puffy" and his son responded that he was kicked twice in the chest by a police officer.
Police do not know Dorner's whereabouts, and authorities were seeking the public's help in finding him. Anyone who may see the suspect is asked to call (661) 255-1121.