A 71-year-old woman delivering newspapers with her daughter who were "accidentally" shot by LAPD searching for triple murder fugitive Christopher Dorner Thursday said they had no warning beforehand, the victims’ attorney told local media.
Attorney Glen T. Jonas said Maggie Carranza, 47, and her mother, 71-year-old Emma Hernandez, were delivering Los Angeles Times newspapers around 5:15 a.m. in Torrance when the officers riddled the women's blue pickup with bullets.
“There was no warning. There were no orders. No commands. Just gunshots,” Jonas said.
A patrol unit was reportedly assigned to protect the home of a high-ranking LAPD officer during the manhunt for 33-year-old Dorner, who is believed to have killed a Riverside cop Thursday and an Irvine couple Sunday.
In a news conference, Police Chief Charlie Beck said the officers thought the women’s royal blue Toyota Tacoma matched the description of Dorner’s gray Nissan Titan with ski rack.
Jonas said the women's vehicle was "the wrong color and the wrong model" compared to Dorner's.
"The problem with the situation is it looked like the police had the goal of administering street justice and in so doing, didn't take the time to notice that these two older, small Latina women don't look like a large black man," Jonas said, correcting earlier news reports that the women were Asian.
Dorner is black, 6 feet tall and weighs 270 pounds.
"Tragically, we believe this is a case of mistaken identity," Charlie Beck, chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, told reporters earlier Thursday about the shooting.
Jonas told CBS Los Angeles that he's not buying it.
“The vehicle is a different color. The license plate doesn’t match. There’s nothing there for you to start shooting people. And even if they had the person in question… Mr. Dorner…you still have to give them an opportunity to get out. You can’t just start administering street justice,” said Jonas.
The Los Angeles Timesreported Thursday night that 71-year-old Hernandez, who was shot twice in the back, is in intensive care.
CBS added Hernandez was listed in good condition at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.
Her daughter, Carranza, who was also hit, according to attorney Jonas, received stitches to a finger.
"We trust that the LAPD will step up and do the right thing and acknowledge that what they did was unacceptable and we'll deal with it," Jonas said.
Compton school bus driver awarded $6 Million For 2007 Sheriff’s Beating
The LAPD and Jonas have met before. Jonas, a civil rights litigator, represented a Compton school bus driver who claimed he was racially profiled and severely beaten by sheriff deputies after a traffic stop the morning of Nov. 4, 2007, CBS Los Angeles wrote in April 2012.
Following a three-day civil rights trial, the jury found Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and Sgt. Pablo Partida and Deputy Robert Martinez liable for excessive force and malicious prosecution against 33-year-old Deon Dirks. The federal jury awarded him $6 million in damages.
After the trial, CBS found out some disturbing news: the deputies were still on the county payroll. In fact, one of the men was promoted to sergeant.
“They committed crimes. Serious felonies. Federal crimes. And what does the Sheriff’s department do?" Jonas asked. "They promote them. It’s disgusting.”